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Edited by 






An act authorizing the Governor of this Commonwealth to appoint five 
persons to make inquiry and examine into and make report to the next 
session of this Legislature, at its next regular session, the advisability of 
erecting suitable tablets, marking the various forts erected as a defense 
against the Indians by the early settlers of this Commonwealth prior to 
the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three. 

Section 1. Be it enacted, &c., That on and after thirty days 
from the passage of this act, the Governor of this Common- 
wealth is hereby authorized and required to appoint five per- 
sons to make inquiry in relation to the various forts erected 
by the early settlers of this Commonwealth prior to the year 
one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, as a defense 
against the Indians. Said five persons are hereby authorized 
to make inquiry and examination as to the number and loca- 
tion of said forts and the propriety of erecting tablets to mark 
said forts and do such things as they may deem best to carry 
out the provisions of this act, and make report to the next 
regular session of the Legislature of this Commonwealth with- 
in thirty days after it shall convene. 

Section 2-. The persons appointed to serve in making such 
examination and report shall be allowed no compensation for 
their services, only such actual expenses as they shall incur 
in making such examination and report and such railroad fare, 
not exceeding three cents per mile for each mile actually 
traveled thereon, and such other expenses of other conveyances 
as may be necessary in making such investigation and report. 
An itemized account and statement whereof shall be certified to 
by the Governor and attested by the Auditor General of the 
Commonwealth before paid by the Treasurer, which shall ac- 
company the report to the Legislature. 

Approved— The 23d day of May, A. D. 1893. 




In accordance with the provisions of the foregoing act, Gov- 
ernor Pattison appointed as Commissioners the following gen- 
tlemen : 

JOHN M. BUCKALEW, of Columbia county. 

SHELDON EEYNOLDS, of Wilkes-Barre. 

HENRY M. M. RICHARDS, of Reading. 

JAY GILFILLAN WEISER, of Snyder county; 

GEORGE DALLAS ALBERT, of Westmoreland county. 

This Commission shortly after convened at Harrisburg, and 
nominated Captain Buckalew as their chairman, and at once 
proceeded to arrange a programme for carrying out the work 
as directed by law. It was then decided, on the ground of 
economy and expediting the work that Five Divisions be 
formed of those portions of the State where the Frontier Forts 
were erected, one of which should be confided to each member 
of the Commission. These were as follows: 

I. That section of the State lying between the North and 
West Branches of the Susquehanna river, with the addition 
of Fort Augusta at Sunbury, to John M. Buckalew. 

II. That section known in history as the Wyoming Valley 
Region, to Sheldon Reynolds. 

III. That section between the Delaware and the Susque- 
hanna rivers, south of the Blue Mountains, except Fort Hali- 
fax and Fort Augusta, to Henry M. M. Richards. 

IV. That section comprising the Juniata and Cumberland 
Valleys, including Fort Halifax, east of the Susquehanna 
river, to Jay Gilfillan Weiser. 

V. That section lying west of the Allegheny mountains 
designated as Western Pennsylvania, to George Dallas Albert. 

Each member of the Commission visited nearly all of the 
localities in person, thus covering every section of the country, 
celebrated in the annals of Frontier warfare; and the reports 
made, which are here published, were presented to the Gov- 
ernor of the Commonwealth, at the opening of the Session of 
the Legislature of 1895, and by him transmitted to the Senate 
and House of Representatives. The Assembly at once passed 
the following resolution : 


In the Senate, January 10th, 1895. 

Kesolved (if the House concur), That the State Printer be 
directed to print and bind in cloth, under the supervision of 
the State Librarian, five thousand (5,000) copies of the report 
of the Indian Forts Commission, filed with the Executive of 
the Commonwealth as required by act of Assembly, approved 
the 23d day of May, A. D. 1893; 2,500 copies being for the use 
of the present members of the House of Representatives, 1,000 
copies for the use of the Senate, 500 for the Executive Depart- 
ment, 500 for the use of the State Librarian, and 100 for each 
of the five Commissioners who have made said report. 

Clerk of the Senate. 

The foregoing resolution concurred in January 23, 1895. 

Clerk of the House of Representatives. 

Approved— The 24th day of January, A. D. 1895. 

In obedience thereto, the report of tbat Commission is here 
with submitted to the people of the Commonwealth. In most 
respects it is interesting and valuable. As a historial docu- 
ment the report of the Commission will compare favorably 
with any heretofore published by the State. There may be 
errors of opinion, and perchance, errors in facts, but this is to 
be expected when so little that is reliable has ever been pub- 
lished in regard to the Frontier Forts. 

Whether it be sentiment or historical pride, the General As- 
sembly of Pennsylvania should take prompt action upon the 
recommendations of the Members of the Commission. They 
have done their duty well and faithfully. They have presented 
a report creditable to the Commonwealth, and invaluable as 
a contribution to the history of the State. The issue remains 
with the authorities. Let them act promptly and ef&ciently; 
and generations to come will rise up and bless their memories. 

State Librarian. 


During the Legislative Session of 1913 the State Librarian 
was asked bj Senator and Mrs. Endsley to suggest the titles 
of State publications, then out of print, which might be re- 
printed for the benefit of historical workers. Among others 
the Librarian suggested ^'Pennsylvania at Gettysburg'' and the 
^'Frontier Forts." 

An act was prepared by Senator Endsley authorizing a new 
edition of the "Frontier Forts" and appointing the State Li- 
brarian as the editor thereof, The Editor requested Dr. George 
P. Donehoo of Goudersport, a well known authority upon the 
history of the Indian tribes, as related to Pennsylvania, to 
prepare a preface for the new edition, and Doctor Donehoo 
responded as follows : 

''The author of the introduction of the first edition of Fron- 
tier Forts states, 'It is not within the scope of this report to 
analyse the reasons which induced the Indians to commit their 
terrible depredations in the Province of Pennsylvania, where 
the policy of the government had always been of a peaceful 
character and was based on the principle of fair dealing with 
the aboriginies.' 

While this statement is, in the main, true, it is nevertheless 
necessary for a right understanding of the history which is 
covered by these 'Border Wars,' that something be known of 
the conditions which made these wars possible. The author of 
this brief introduction realizes that it is not possible, in a mere 
introduction of this sort, to give a complete history of all of 
the causes which led to the alienation of the aboriginies, who 
welcomed the first white settlers to the shores of the Delaware. 
A whole volume would be needed to cover the history of this 
most interesting and vital epoch in Pennsylvania, and Ameri- 
can history. But, this brief sketch may help the reader to 
understand why the friendly Delaware was changed to a re- 
lentless foe, and to a certain extent give the reason back of the 
hostility of the period in which Pennsylvania was drenched 
in blood. 

When William Penn was ready to embark upon the ship 
which was to carry him to the New World, in which he had 
received a grant of land from King Charles, he requested that 
he be given an audience by his sovereign. When this request 

PRE:FAT0RY note. vii 

was granted, the King, in jest, said to him, "It will not be 
long until I hear that you have gone into the savages' war- 
kettle: what is to prevent it?" "Their own inner light," said 
Penn. "Moreover, as I intend equitably to buy their lands- 
I shall not be molested." "Buy their lands," replied the King, 
in surprise, "Why, is not the land mine?" "No, your Majesty, 
you have no right to their lands; they are the original occu- 
pants of the soil." "What, have I not the right of discovery ?" 
"Well, just suppose that a canoe full of savages should by some 
accident discover Great Britain. Would you vacate, or sell?" 
Needless to say, the King was surprised, but he was no doubt 
more surprised by the results of Penn's policy. 

New England commenced its conquest by trying to convert 
the Indian, in the menwhile taking possession of the soil. 
Penn commenced the conquest of his possessions on the Dela- 
ware by buying the land from the occupants and treating with 
them in friendly conferences, in order that he might win them 
to friendly relations with him and his people. The conquest 
of Pennsylvania was entirely different from that of any other 
part of the continent. It began with a Treaty of Peace, held 
under the spreading elm tree at Shackamaxon. Many writers 
have attempted to make this supposed scene, according to their 
views, entirely mythical. No matter where it was held, or when 
it was held — at Shackamaxon before William Penn arrived in 
the country, or at Chester after his arrival — it was most cer- 
tainly held at the commencement of the settlement of the 
Province, for the 'League of Amity' made with William Penn 
upon his taking possession of the land on the Delaware, is 
mentioned at nearly every Council held in the^Province in 
after years. The author can see no reason for changing the 
traditional site at Shackamaxon, or the year 1682. This place 
was a prominent gathering place for the Indians. Its very 
name, Sakimaxing, 'place of chiefs,' made it the most promi- 
nent village, or meeting place, in the region, 

Penn wrote to the Commissioners, whom he had sent out to 
make the arrangements for the settlement of the Delaware, 
*Be tender to the Indians. Soften them to me and to the peo- 
ple. Let them know that you are come to sit down lovingly 
among them. Bead to them, in their own tongue, the conditions 


made with the purchasers, that they shall deal justly with 
them. Make a friendship and league with them according to 
these conditions, which carefully observe.' 

To the Indians he wrote, ''God, to whom you and I and 
all people owe their being, has written His law in our hearts, 
by which we are commanded to love, and to help, and to do 
good to one another, I desire to win and gain your love and 
friendship by a kind, just and peaceable life, and the people 
I send are of the same mind, and shall in all things behave 
themselves accordingly." 

To Thomas Holme he wrote, "When the great God brings 
me among you, I intend to order all things in such a manner 
that we may live in love and peace, one with another. Which 
I hope the great God will incline both you and me to do." 

These were the sentiments upon which William Penn com- 
menced his conquest of Pennsylvania, and these were the 
principles which entered into the ''League of Amity," which 
was to endure "as long as the sun gives light." 

The belt of wampum which is supposed to have been given 
at the first Treaty with the Indians is preserved in a case in 
the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The inscription upon 
this case is, "Not Sworn to but Never Broken." This state- 
ment is correct. For seventy years this "League of Amity" 
was kept inviolate by the Indians, as well as by the Penns. 
Year after year the old chiefs of the Delawares went to 
Philadelphia to renew this agreement. In 1718 Civility, the 
old chief of the remnant of the once powerful Susquehanna, 
or Conestoga, Indians went to Philadelphia. In his "speech" 
to Sir William Keith, he said, in speaking of the visit of his 
tribesmen, "that they came, not to make any new Treaty 
or League of friendship, but only to renew or confirm those 
which had been made, and were hitherto inviolably kept on both 
sides." At a Council at Conestoga in 1721 Sir William Keith 
refers to the settlement of the Province, and said, "Some of 
your ancient men can yet remember the first settlement of the 
Province of Pennsylvania by William Penn. He was a good 
man, and had a great affection for the Indians; he entered 
into Leagues of friendship with them, and treated them as 
brethren." The Indian speakers said that they remembered 
those treaties with William Penn. 


At a Treaty at Albany the following year Sir William Keith 
said, "You have likewise told us how William Penn, who was 
a good man, did, at his first settlement of the Province of Penn- 
sylvania, make leagues of friendship with the Indians, and 
treated them as brethren ; and that, like the same good man, he 
left it in charge to all his Governors who should succeed him, 
and to all the people of Pennsylvania, that they should always 
keep the covenant and treaties he made with the Five Nations, 
and treat them with love and kindness. We acknowledge that 
his Governors and people have always kept the same honestly 
and truly to this day; so we, on our part, have always kept 
and forever shall keep firm peace and friendship with a good 
heart, to all the people of Pennsylvania.'' 

For seventy years this peaceful policy of William Penn 
was carried out in all of the dealings of the Province with the 
Indians. At the Council at Easton in 1750 Tedyuskung, the 
leading Delaware chief, said, ''I remember well the leagues and 
covenants of our forefathers- We are but children in compari- 
son with them. What William Penn said to the Indians is 
still fresh in our minds; this we all remember and IT IS NOT 

It truly was not a small thing which led to the breaking of 
the friendship between the Delawares and the English settlers 
in the Province. The alienation of the Delawares was the 
cause which led directly to the fearful years of bloodshed and 
strife. With the Delawares went the Shawnee, and also the 
Seneca on the Ohio — called Mingo in many of the articles deal- 
ing with this period. 

The first real step of the Indians in Pennsylvania from the 
"League of Amity" with the Province was caused by the ne- 
farious "Walking Purchase" of 1737, by which the Delawares 
lost, through a clear case of fraud, the most prized lands of 
their ancestors. Various attempts were made by the Provincial 
authorities, as well as by the Iroquois, to show that no fraud 
had been committed in this purchase. But, no method of argu- 
ment can make such a transacton just. It certainly was not 
wise. But whether just or wise it marked the commencement 
of the movement of both the Delaware and Shawnee away from 


English interest. The Delawares felt that they had been 
cheated in the "home of their friends," and as they were driven 
by the Iroquois to find refuge along the upper Susquehanna, in 
the Wyoming Valley, or moved westward to the Ohio, they felt 
that they had been wronged by the very ones whom they trusted 

But, more galling than even the fraud which had been 
practiced upon them in this sale, was the realization that 
henceforth they were to take a seat in the background in all 
of the affairs of the Province, while the Iroquois assumed 
the position of the Master, not only of them, but also of all 
of the lands upon which they lived. When the Province of 
Pennsylvania paid the Iroquois for the lands upon the Dela- 
ware river, south of the Blue Mountains, in 1736, a precedent 
was made which the Iroquois were not slow to make the most 
of in the years to come. This was the first claim which the 
Iroquois had ever set up for ownership of land occupied by the 
Delawares. From 1682 until 1736 the Delawares had dealt 
directly with the Provincial authorities in the sale of all of 
the lands upon which they lived. From 1736 until the last 
purchase of Indian lands in Pennsylvania the Iroquois dealt 
directly with the Province, ignoring the right of the Delawares 
to a foot of the ground upon which they lived. 

At the Council in Philadelphia in 1742 the Iroquois ordered 
the Delawares to remove at once to Shamokin or Wyoming, 
from their lands in the Minisinks, which they supposed had 
been reserved for them. The Delawares went away from this 
Council thoroughly humiliated because of the treatment given 
them. We can possibly realize what such treatment meant to 
the proud chiefs, who remembered the days when their fathers 
had been treated by William Penn with honor, as the rightful 
owners of the lands, which were now sold under their very 
feet by the Iroquois. They had not even been invited to go 
to this Council, but were informed that they could go if they 
so wished — at their own expense. 

The Delaware and Shawnee moved to Wyoming, and west- 
ward to the Ohio. There is no doubt but that the chief factor 
in the ascendancy of the Iroquois in the affairs of the Province 
was Conrad Weiser, the famous Indian interpreter and diplo- 


mat. All of his sympathy was with the Iroquois. He cared 
nothing for the Delawares. He came upon the scene just at 
the time when the pacific policy of Penn.was declining. Walton 
truly says, in his "Conrad Weiser," "Weiser helped Shikellamy 
sow the seed which drenched Pennsylvania in blood from 1755 
to 1764. — Penn-sylvania suffered that a nation might live. She 
brought upon herself after many years a Delaware war, but 
escaped a Six Nation war, a French alliance with the Iroquois, 
and the threatened possibility of the destruction of all the 
English colonies on the coast." This statement is true. In 
bringing the Iroquois into the foreground in the affairs of the 
Province the neutrality of that powerful confederation was 
assured. Weiser was the chief power back of all of these 
efforts at this time. In the impending struggle between Great 
Britain and France it was absolutely essential for the preser- 
vation of the British Colonies that the Iroquois, as a Confedera- 
tion, remain neutral. This neutrality was assured by the Pro- 
vince in the recognition of the Iroquois claims for the lands 
occupied by the Delawares. 

But, the recognition of the Iroqouis as the owners of the 
Delaware lands "by right of cpnquest,'' lost for Pennsylvania 
the friendship of the Delaware and Shawnee, who had been 
driven to the Ohio by the various land sales and by the en- 
croachments of the white settlers upon the lands which had 
not been bought by the Province. 

From the time of the Purc|iase of 1736 the Delawares awak- 
ened to a realization of the wrong which had been done to 
them. They retreated from the Delaware across the Blue 
Mountains to Wyoming and Shamokin, to the West Branch 
and to the Ohio, seeking a place of refuge from the rum traffic 
and the horde of land-hungry settlers. But, no sooner had 
the lands been bought south of the Blue Mountains than the 
white settlers began to cross the Susquehanna and then the 
Kittatinny Mountains, into the lands which had not been pur- 
chased from the Indians. Again and again the Delaware and 
Shawnee complained to Shikellamy, the Iroquois deputy at 
Shamokin, concerning these "white squatters" who were sett- 
ling upon Indian lands along the Juniata river and in the 
Tuscorara Valley, Shikellamy complained to the authorities 


of the Province. The Governor issued "Proclamations/^ no- 
tices were posted, but still the settlers remained. At the 
Treaty of Albany in 17^4 the Commissioners from Pennsylvania 
decided that something must be done to silence these com- 
plaints, which were assuming a dangerous tone. It was de- 
cided that the only thing to do was to buy the lands beyond 
the Allegheny mountains. This was finally accomplished. 
At the same time the Agents of the Busqftehanna Company, 
of Connecticut, were working on the quiet through the Mo- 
hawks for the purchase of the lands in the Wyoming Valley. 
The Mohawks had absolutely no more right to sell this land 
than a Delaware had a right to sell the lands of the Seneca. 
This fraudulent deal was carried through. Another sale had 
been made at the Treaty at Lancaster in 1744, in which the 
lands westward '^to the setting sun" were deeded by the Iro- 
quois to the Colony of Virginia. By this deed Virginia claimed 
the lands beyond the mountains including the lands on the 
Ohio river. Thus in 1754 the Delaware and Shawnee awoke 
to a realization that all of their lands were gone. The Mini- 
sinks, on the Delaware, had been sold in 1736 ; the lands along 
the Susquehanna had been disposed of by various sales, and 
now the lands in the Wyoming Valley and on the Ohio had 
been sold by the Iroquois. They had not a foot of ground 
which they could call their own. 

The chiefs of the Delaware and Shawnee went back to their 
villages on the Ohio, brooding over their wrongs and waiting 
for the day of vengeance. This day was not long in coming. 
Right at the very time when these warriors of the Delawares 
and Shawnee had been cheated out of all of their possessions, 
Braddock was slowly cutting his way over the mountains of 
Pennsylvania to Fort Duquesne. Braddock's fearful defeat 
and slaughter was no sudden ''Indian uprising." It was the 
logical result of long years of injustice to the Delawares, and 
their kindred, the Shawnee. Braddock had to bear the con- 
sequences of the alienation of these Indian tribes. His defeat 
was not the cause of the bloodshed which followed. It was a 
result, which neither Washington or Forbes could have avoided 
had they led this ill-fated expedition. Braddock and his army, 
and the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia had to pay in 


blood for the splendid bargains which had been made by the 
English in the ^'Walking Purchase," and in the land grab in 
the Wyoming Valley. Truly, as Tedyuskung said at Easton, 
after speaking of William Penu's memory, "It is not a smalJ 
matter that would have then separated us." The Delaware 
and Shawnee would have been base cowards had they silently 
and meekly retreated beyond the Ohio without a struggle. 
In 1742 the Iroquois had declared that the Delawares were 
"women," having no right to bear arms or to sell land. In 
1755 the Delawares threw away their "skirts" and took up the 
arms of a man to avenge their wrongs. They had complained 
at every Council which was held during this entire period 
concerning these land sales, the rum traffic and the settlemeni 
of lands which had not been purchased from the Indians. When 
all of these appeals failed they appealed to the only Court 
in America in which an Indian ever had any standing — the 
Supreme Court of Arms the last court of appeal of savage, 
as well as of civilized man. From 1682 until 1755 the Dela- 
wares were at peace ^ith the English in this Province. From 
1755 until the last Delaware was driven beyond the Ohio 
river he was at war, simply because none of his claims had 
any recognition in any court of Justice. 

After over 150 years the Ked Man, with claims aggregating 
over a billion dollars, finds himself in exactly the same con- 
dition so far as Courts of Justice are concerned, as did the 
Delaware of 1754 who was expected to meekly move on, when 
told to do so by some settler who wanted his land. The fearful 
slaughter of Braddock's troops and the entire route of his army 
by the comparatively small army of French and Indians opened 
the eyes of the Delaware and Shawnee. They, for the first 
time in the history of their relations with the white man, real- 
ized their own power. The Indians on the Ohio hesitated no 
longer but went over as a body to the side of the French. The 
Iroquois as a Confederation remained neutral, but great num- 
bers of the Seneca, who had been associated with the Dela- 
wares, because of the easy access to the villages on the Ohio 
by way of the Allegheny river, took up the hatchet^ and "the 
dogs of war were turned loose" upon the defenceless frontiers 
of Pennsylvania and Virginia. Some of the eastern Delaware 


remained neutral, through the efforts of the friendly chiefs, 
but the great body of Delaware west of the Susquehanna river, 
led by Shingas, Tamaque (King Beaver), and other chiefs, 
carried death into the white settlements on the frontiers. The 
West Branch of the Susquehanna, the Allegheny river, and 
the winding Indian trails across the mountains became veri- 
table "trails of blood." 

The "Border Wars" of Pennsylvania were caused because 
the Delaware and Shawnee refused to leave the land which 
they loved, without a struggle^ and because every treaty which 
they had ever made with the white man had been broken. 
Again and again these people "reserved" by a treaty a place 
of refuge "which it shall not be lawful for us or our children 
to sell, or for you or your children ever to buy" — only to find 
out that no such spot existed on the face of the earth for an 

When the tide of Scotch-Irish settlers swept over the moun- 
tain ridges and into the valley beyond the "Endless Moun- 
tains," seeking to drive "the heathen from the Land of Promise" 
it is small wonder that the "heathen" refused to be driven — 
hence the Frontier Forts, and the border warfare which makes 
the period covered by this work one of the most thrilling in 
American history. 

In order to understand this Epic of Pennsylvania one must 
know, not only the Indian but also the frontiersman, whose 
rugged character was moulded by the environment in which 
he was placed. Stretching along the foothills of the Alle- 
ghenies, at the commencement of the period which is pictured 
in these volumes, lived a class of people who were the pro- 
ducts of an environment almost as remarkable as that in 
which they found themselves after they were transplanted to 
the American continent. With but few exceptions they were 
Scotch-Irish or German, as their names in the Colonial Records 
show. As the 18th Century dawned, big with tremendous 
events, these pioneers had crossed the narrow strip of level land 
along the seaboard and were pushing their way to the long 
ridges of mountains along the western horizon. Their cabins 
dotted the mountain sides^ far beyond the limits of civilization, 
in the very heart of the great forest enshrouded wilderness. 


Along this skirmish, line of civilization, out beyond the ad- 
vance guard of the German and English lived the Scotch- 
Irish, who had little in common with the quiet Quakers who 
lived along the Delaware. Long before the outbreak of the 
Indian hostility their cabins were builded in the little clear- 
ings beyond the mountains of the Juniata and the West Branch 
valleys. One must live in such environment in order to under- 
stand its influence. The mountains and brooding forests pro- 
duce men of a different type than is produced in the artificial 
life of any community, however large or small it may be. 
The mystery, the silence, the solemn grandeur, the lurking 
danger of the environment of mountains and forests get into 
a man's very soul. The diflSculties and dangers of life in such 
an atmosphere make the small things of mere political expe- 
diency seem small indeed. Each man acts for himself. Self, 
and the little group within the cabin, becomes a center of life 
and of life's aims. It is small wonder then that the very 
same motive which led the Delaware to seek the protection of 
his wigwam, led the frontiersman to the protection of his cabin. 
Both were alike under the spell of the savage life of the forest 
and mountain, and both used the same methods of protecting 
that which he loved. The frontiersman of Pennsylvania, living 
as an Indian lived^ became an Indian in everything but his 
religion. He hunted, fished, fought, not as his father had done 
these things beyond the eastern hills, but as the Indians did 
in the trackless forests. 

It is not difiQcult to understand why these frontiersmen were 
little effected by the "Proclamations" which were issued by the 
Provincial authorities, warning them to give up the land upon 
which they had built their cabin. Philadelphia was a long 
distance away, and the questions of Indian policy were just 
as far removed from the quiet cabin beyond the outskirts of 
civilization. So, before he was fully aware of its coming, the 
storm had broken, and his cabin was a smoking ruin. The 
tale of these years is a sad one indeed. But out of the hardship 
and suffering of those years was produced the type of men 
who made possible the existance of the great Nation which 
now sweeps westward to the Pacific. The Boarder Wars of 
Pennsylvania and Virginia were but the prelude to the Revo- 


lution. These frontiersman made possible the Nation, which 
sprang out of the rugged manhood which was produced during 
this epoch of struggle against savagery. These were the men 
who were with Braddock and Washington, who were with 
Forbes and Bouquet^ who were with Crawford and Wayne, and 
these were the men who were with Washington at Valley Forge 
and with Stark and Morgan at Saratoga. Without them there 
would have been no Declaration of Independence and no United 
States of America. Chancellor MacCracken, of the University 
of New York, said at the dedication of the Saratoga Battle 
Monument, in speaking of the Germans with Herkimer, ''The 
German-Americans who followed Herkimer were by no means 
the only Germans who fought the battles of Saratoga. Over 
twenty-two per cent, of the so-called Virginia riflemen, of 
whom we shall hear, are declared upon good authority to have 
been Pennsylvania Germans." And again he says, "If I turn 
to the men who followed Morgan, being detached by George 
Washington from his army, the most of these were Scotch- 
Irish from the Blue Ridge and the Alleghenies.'^ Sir George 
Trevelyan says of these, in his "History of the American Revo- 
lution," "History knows them as Morgan's Virginians^ but 
full two-thirds of them were from the western frontiers of 
Pennsylvania, and two-thirds of these were Scotch-Irish who 
traced their descent back to Ulster." While the fashionable 
people of New York were declaring themselves openly against 
the Revolution, and were paying court to Tryon, the British 
Governor, on his ship in the harbor, the frontiersmen of Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia were rallying to the support of the 
army of Washington. Cut out of the Revolutionary army the 
frontiersmen of Pennsylvania and Virginia and there would 
be little left. 

The men who were being trained in the hardships of the 
frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia during the period of 
these border wars were the men who were to drive France from 
the Ohio, and then place Washington at the head of a new 

History has not yet done justice to the Red Men who fought 
for the land which they loved, nor has History yet done justice 
to the Frontiersman of Pennsylvania who drove out the Red 


Man and then the Frenchman and then the Britishman. And 
yet — the history of the Indian and the History of the Frontiers- 
man is the only thing in our literature which saves it from 
being merely commonplace. 

The student of history will find these volumes of the Frontier 
Forts a most valuable storehouse. Pennsylvania is a small 
state in area, but it is large in the great world of History. 
Fort Duquesne, Braddock's Field, Fort Necessity, Bushy Run, 
Valley Forge, Gettysburg — these, and many more spots upon 
her soil, have been the scenes where World History was made." 

The recommendations of the Commission upon Frontier 
Forts were submitted in 1895, but no active measures were 
taken by the Legislature to carry them out until the Penn- 
sylvania Historical Commission was appointed by Governor 

The Sons of the Revolution and the Daughters of the Ameri- 
can Revolution, the Enoch Brown Memorial Association and 
the various historical societies have shown a commendable in- 
terest in marking these sites. The Historical Commission has 
assisted in placing appropriate markers at Fort McCord, at 
Fort Augusta, on Penn's Creek, Fort Loudon, and Harris' 
Ferry ; and has arranged for placing others at Fort Necessity, 
Ligonier, Fort McDowell, Fort Hunter and Fort Granville. 

The Berks County Historical Society has marked Fort North- 
kill, Fort Henry and Fort Dietrich Snyder during the past 
year. The indications are that within the next year all the 
more important forts will be adequately marked, and that 
thus one of the wise recommendations of the Frontier Forts 
Commission will be satisfactorily carried out. 

In the opinion of the Editor certain of those sites, such 
as Fort Augusta, should be purchased by the State and con- 
verted into small parks. The Bushy Run battlefield should 
also be purchased, and an adequate monument placed there 
in honor of the brave and efficient Colonel Bouquet — the hero 
of that affray. 



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It is not within the scope of this report to analyse the rea- 
sons which induced the Indians to commit their terrible depre- 
dations in the Province of Pennsylvania, where the policy 
of the government had always been of a peaceful character 
and was based on the principle of fair dealing with the 
aborigines. It is sufficient to say, that, as they daily saw 
themselves pushed back by the onward march of the white 
man, their hunting grounds, teeming with game, and streams, 
filled with fish, lost to them, either through fair purchase or 
more likely fraudulent action on the part of the settlers, it 
needed but a spark to fire the savage nature in their breasts 
and create a flame which blood alone could extinguish. That 
spark came from the field of Braddock's defeat in 1755, and, 
in its train, there swarmed amongst the frontier settlements 
of the Province hundreds of scalping parties, carrying death 
and destruction with them everywhere, whose work did not 
finally cease until the year 1783. 

At this time the Blue Mountains practically marked the 
limit of actual settlement on the part of the white men, and 
it was along this range that the storm burst in all its fury. 
Standing as it did on the verge of civilization, and forming in 
itself a natural barrier, it was but in accordance with reason 
to occupy it for the purpose of defense and to there stay the 
further encroachment of the enemy. It is well here to bear in 
mind the fact that the attacks and depredations of the Indians 
were not made by large bodies or any numbers combined, 
neither were the tactics of civilized warfare followed, but 
parties of from three to ten or twenty would creep noiselessly 
past alert and watchful sentries and suddenly fall upon their 
unsuspecting victims, just as suddenly disappearing after 



their horrible work had been completed, long before the alarm 
could be spread and the most active troops overtake them. 

This required peculiar methods of defense, necessitating 
the erection of forts, not very distant from each other, which 
would occupy prominent points of approach, if possible be 
situated on elevated ground thus furnishing a view of danger 
in advance, convenient of access to the settlers who might 
and did constantly flee to them for refuge, and, last, but by 
no means least, be provided with an abundance of water near 
by. Upon the occurrence of the first murders, blockhouses 
were erected by the settlers themselves, or farm houses used 
as such, which were located where the danger seemed most 
imminent and without respect to any general plan. In 1756, 
however, the Provincial Government took the defense of the 
people into its own hands. A chain of forts was established 
along the Blue Mountains, reaching from the Susquehanna 
to the Delaware, at distances of from ten to fifteen miles 
apart, depending upon the comparative situation of the promi- 
nent Gaps, which gateways were invariably occupied. Some- 
times the chain of defenses ran on the south side of the range, 
then again on the north side, and frequently both sides of 
the mountains were occupied, as the needs of the population 
demanded. Some of these forts consisted of the defenses pre- 
viously erected by the settlers, which were available for the 
purpose, and of which the government took possession, whilst 
others were newly erected. Almost without exception they 
were composed of a stockade of heavy planks, inclosing a space 
of ground more or less extensive, on which were built from 
one to four blockhouses, pierced with loop holes for musketry, 
and occupied as quarters by the soldiers and refugee settlers. 
In addition to these regular forts it became necessary at var- 
ious points, where depredations were most frequent, to have 
subsidiary places of defense and refuge, which were also 
garrisoned by soldiers and which generally comprised farm 
houses, selected because of their superior strength and con- 
venient location, around which the usual stockade was thrown, 
or occasionally block houses erected for the purpose. The 
soldiers who garrisoned these forts were Provincial troops, 
which almost without exception were details from the First 


Battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiment, under the com- 
mand of that brave and energetic officer, Lt. Colonel Conrad 

When, by 1758, the fury of the first Indian outbreak had 
somewhat spent its force, and the terrors of Pontiac's war, 
which broke out in 1763, belonged as yet to the unseen future, 
the Government deemed it wise to abandon all but the larger 
and most important of the stations in the chain of defense, 
thereby materially reducing their number. 

It is with these Indian forts of the Blue Mountains I have 
to do, of which, in this year of our Lord, 1894^ but the slightest 
traces remain of a couple only, and of which the true location 
of many others had become a matter of mere conjecture, and, 
in the briefest time, would have been entirely lost to history, 
by so slender a thread did an authentic knowledge of their 
situation hang, had it not been for the wise appointment of the 
Commission whose labors have just been completed. It is 
therefore a source of much gratification to me to be able to 
report that I have ascertained, after much personal search 
and labor, the exact spot where stood each of the many de- 
fenses in the territory allotted to me. I beg to subjoin a map 
on which is correctly located every fort, and will proceed with 
a detailed and separate report of each one, beginning at the 
Susquehanna River and following the mountains to the Dela- 


About the year 1705, John Harris^ Sr., built his log house 
on the bank of the Susquehanna where now stands Harris- 
burg, the Capital City of the Commonwealth. This building 
became, later. Fort Harris. He was more especially a trader 
but also engaged extensively in agriculture. It is said of him 
that "he was the first person who introduced the plough on 
the Susquehanna," and, moveover, that "he was as honest a 
man as ever broke bread" (H. Napey's Harrisburg Directory- 
Intro.,). There still remains, in the inclosure near the mag- 


niflcent bridge of the Cumberland Valley Kailroad opposite 
Mulberry street, a portion of the stump of the old mulberry 
tree, which stood near his house and to which he was bound 
by a party of drunken Indians to whom he had refused more 
rum, with the intention of burning him to death. From this 
death he was only saved after a struggle by another party of 
Indians, from across the river^ who were more friendly dis- 
posed. When he died in 1748 his remains were interred, at his 
own request, beneath the shadow of this memorable tree. He 
was succeeded by his son, bearing the same name, John 
Harris, who was born in the old house in 1726, and was a 
most energetic and influential man. It was he who founded 
the city of Harrisburg, upon the site of what, for three quar- 
ters of a century, was known as Harris' Ferry. 

After Braddock's defeat, the earliest onset of the savages 
was naturally felt along the Susquehanna. Mr. Harris was 
amongst the first to take up arms and otherwise arrange for 
defense, in which he became a leader. On October 28, 1755, 
he writes to the Governor detailing the massacre at Penn's 
Creek, on the West branch of the Susquehanna, together with 
the attack on the party which he led, whilst returning from 
that neighborhood, whither he had gone to protect the settlers 
(Col. Rec, vi, p. 654). On October 29, 1755, he writes to 
Edward Shippen, esq'r, of Lancaster, as follows: 

''We expect the enemy upon us every day, and the inhabi-' 
tants is abandoning their plantations, being greatly discour- 
aged at the approach of such a number of cruel savages, and 
no sign of assistance. The Indians is cutting us off every 
day and I had a certain account of about 1,500 Indians beside 
French being on their march against us and Virginia, and now 
close on our borders, their scouts scalping our families on our 
frontiers daily. Andrew Montour and others at Shamokin 
desired me to take care, that there was forty Indians out 
many days, and intended to burn my house and destroy my- 
self and family. I have this day cut holes in my house, and 
is determined to hold out to the last extremity if I can get 
some men to stand by me, few of which I yet can at present, 
every one being in fear of their own families being cut off 
every hour (such is our situation)" ****** 
(Col. Rec, vi, p. 655.) 


Besides providing port holes for musketry, Mr. Harris 
erected a substantial stockade around his home and otherwise 
made an actual fort of it. Edw'd Shippen in his letter of 
April 19, 1756, to Governor Morris, says * * * * "John 
Harris has built an excellent stockade round his house which 
is ye only place of security that way for the provisions of ye 
army, he having much good cellar room, and as he has but 
six or seven men to guard it, if the Government would order 
six more men there to strengthen it, it would in my opinion 
be of great use to the cause, even were no provisions to be 
stored there at all; tho' there is no room for any scarce in 
Captain McKee's Fort * * * * * * I speak with 
submission, but this stockade of Harris' ought by all means to 
be supported, for if for want of this small addition of men 
above mentioned, the Indians should destroy it, the conse- 
quence would be that most of ye inhabitants within twenty 
miles of his house would immediately leave their plantations,, 
the enemey can come over the hills at five miles distance from 
McKee's Fort." * * * * (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 635). Mr. 
Harris writes to R. Peters, under date of Novem'r 5th, 1756, 
"Here is at my Fort Two Prisoners y't came from Shamokin 
ab't one month ago. Be pleased to inform his Honor, Our 
Governor that Directions may be given, how they are to be 
disposed of, they have been this long time confined. I hope 
that his Honor will be Pleased to Continue some men here 
During these Calamitous times on Our Frontiers, as this 
place and the Conveniences here may be of Servis if Defended" 
* * * (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 33). 

The following extract from the Journal of James Burd, in 
1758, shows the presence of troops here at that time: 

Thursday, 16th February, 1758. 
This Morning Sett out from Lancaster to Visit the Troops 
from Susquehanna to Delaware, took Capt'n Hambright along 
with me. ***** 

18th, Saturday. 
Obliged to leave Capt'n hambright here (sick at Barny 
Hughes's) I sett off this morning at 9 A. M.^ for Hunter's Fort 
at 2 P. M., arrived at Harris's, found Lieut'ns Broadhead & 


Paterson & Commissary Galbraith here, & 20 men" * * * 
* * * (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 352). And on June 11, 1756, 
Colonel Clapham writes that he has detached Serjeant Mc- 
Curdy, with twelve men to remain in garrison at Harris's and 
receive and stow carefully whatever provisions and stores 
which may arrive. (Penn. Arch., ii^ p. 663). 

There then remains no doubt that the long house, erected 
about 1705, by John Harris, Sr., and later occupied by his son 
John Harris, was the Fort Harris at Harris' Ferry, now Har- 
risburg, as the large stone house constructed by Mr. Harris 
on Front street below Mulberry, was not built until 1766-69. 
What then was its appearance and where did it stand? For- 
tunately^ we have a representation of the building, taken from 
the original in the possession of General Simon Cameron, 
shown in the ^'History of Dauphin and Lebanon Counties" by 
Dr. W. H. Egle, p. 293, from which I have reproduced the 
following sketch: 

It was the typical log cabin of the early settler, with its 
hugh chimneys, although somewhat more pretentious in size. 
"it stood on the lower bank of the river, about one hundred 
and fifty to two hundred feet below the spot where now re- 
pose his remains. The foundation walls of this house have 
been seen by some of our oldest citizens (about 1820 the 
cellar was visible — Penna. Hist. Collections — Sherman Day, 
p. 283). A well, dug by Mr. Harris, still exists about one hun- 
dred feet east of his gra^e. It was covered over about thirty 
years ago (1850) but its site is easily distinguished by a small 
circular mound of earth. In connection with his mansion-house 
he erected a large range of sheds, which were sometimes 
literally filled with skins and furs, obtained by him in trafi&c 
with the Indians, or stored there by Indian traders, who 
brought them from the western country." (History of Dau- 
phin and Lebanon Counties, Dr. W. H. Egle, p. 292). 

The exact location of Fort Harris admits of no doubt, if 
indeed it ever did. It would seem a matter of prime import- 
ance that its position and history should be perpetuated by 
a monument. 


P£NN, C&^ 



Six miles north of Fort Harris, or Harrisburg, at the junc- 
tion of Fishing Creek and the Susquehanna river surrounded 
by beautiful scenery, stood Fort Hunter, the next in the chain 
of defenses. It was about two and one-half miles below the 
present romantic village of Dauphin, and about one-half mile 
above that of Rockville. 

Whilst its distance from Fort Harris was but six miles, not 
more than half as far as were from each other the remaining 
defenses planned by the Government, yet its very important 
situation "where the Blue hills cross the Susquehanna" gave 
it command of the passage around the same into the settled 
districts, and made it an admirable place of rendezvous for 
the batteaux which carried supplies up the river to Shamokin 
and Fort Augusta. It was this which, on several occasions, 
prevented its proposed abandonment, and insured its continu- 
ance when so many other forts were dismantled. 

Exactly when built and by whom is not on record. It is 
very probable^ however, that the defenses were originated by 
the settlers about October or November, 1755, at the time when 
the Indians made their first raid and committed the murders 
at Penn's Creek, and were afterwards completed by the Gov- 
ernment troops when taking charge of them in January, 1756. 

The derivation of its name is somewhat interesting and has 
a slight touch of romance about it. The first person to avail 
himself of this beautiful location was Benjamin Chambers, 
in 1720, the senior of four brothers, sturdy Presbyterians 
from the north of Ireland, himself a man of remarkable de- 
termination. Being, later on, joined by his brothers, we find 
that in 1735-6, the brothers Chambers^ save Thomas, removed 
to the Cumberland Valley. A son-in-law of Thomas subse- 
quently fell heir to the mill, and from henceforth it went by 
his name, and thus the Fort at Hunter's Mill — or Fort Hunter. 

The first orders, on record, relating to Fort Hunter, were 
issued January 10, 1756, by Governor Morris to Adam Read, 
of Hanover township, Lancaster county, and were as follows; 


Orders to Adam Read, Esq,, 1756. 

Carlisle, January 10, 1756. 

''The Commissioner thinking that the Company of fifty men 
under your Command are sufficient to guard the frontier along 
the Kittektiny Hills, from your own house to Hunter's Mill, 
Have refused for the present to take any other men in that quar- 
ter into the pay of the Government, and requested me to Order, 
and I do hereby accordingly Order you to detach twenty-five 
of the men now at your House, to the fort at Hunter's Mill, 
upon Susquehanna, under the command of your Lieutenant 
or Officer next under yourself, or in case there be none such 
appointed by the government, then under the command of 
such person as you shall appoint for that Service; and you 
are to give orders to the Commander of such detachm't to keep 
his men in order and fit for duty^ and to cause a party of them, 
from time to time, to range the woods along and near the 
mountains toward your House; and you are in like manner 
to keep the men with you in good order, and to cause a party 
of them, from time to time, to range the woods on or near 
the mountains towards Hunter's Mill ; and you and they are to 
Continue upon this Service till further order. 

You are to add ten men to your Company out of the town- 
ship of Paxton, and to make the Detachment to Hunter's Mill 
of twenty more men, which with those ten, are to complete 
30 for that service, and Keep an acc't of the time when these 
ten enter themselves, that you may be enabled to make up 
your muster roll upon oath." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 545). 

Hardly had this detachment entered upon its duties when 
further instructions were sent Mr. Read by Governor Morris, 
dated Jan'ry 26 1756, from Reading, containing the following : 

"I have also appointed Thomas McKee to take post at or 
near Hunter's Mills, with thirty men ; you are to continue that 
part of your Company stationed there upon that service till 
they are relieved by him, when you are to give orders for their 
being dismissed, and you are to give directions to the officer 
commanding that detachment to deliver to Cap't McKee such 
Provincial arms, accoutrim'ts. Blankets, tools and stores as 


he may at any time have received, and to take McKee's re- 
ceipt for them, which you are also to transmit to me." (Penn. 
Arch., ii, p. 551). 

At the same time the following instructions were sent to 
Capt'n McKee. 

Reading y Jan^y 26, 1756. 
T. McKee : 

You are to receive from the officer now commanding the 
detachment of Oap't Read's Company at Hunter's Mill, and 
who you are to relieve such Arms, Accoutrements, Blankets, 
Tools and Stores, as he may have in his hands belonging to 
the Province, with which you are to furnish your Company, 
but if that be not sufficient you are to apply to Cap't Frederick 
Smith for a further supply out of what he will receive from 
Cap't Read and Cap't Hedericks. But as the Province is at 
present in want of Arms and Blankets, if any of the men you 
shall inlist, will find themselves with those articles, they shall 
receive half a dollar for the use of their gun, and half a dollar 
for the use of a Blanket." (Penn. Arch., ii. 553). 

In connection with these instructions to Captains Read and 
McKee was a letter from the Governor, under the same date, 
January 26, 1756, to James Galbraith^ Esq., a Provincial Com- 
missioner, which rehearses sundry orders given, amongst them 
those just quoted, to which he adds, "I have also instructed 
Cap't. McKee to advise with you whether to finish the fort 
already begun at Hunter's Mill, or to build a new one, and as 
to the place where it would be best to erect such new one. 
I therefore desire you will assist him in those matters, or in 
anything else that the King's service and the safety of the in- 
habitants may require." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 554). 

The matter in which the Governor speaks of finishing the 
"fort already begun" indicates, of course, its incompleteness, 
and yet the order to Capt. Read, of January 10, 1756, distinctly 
directs him to "detach twenty-five of the men now at your 
House, to the fort at Hunter's Mill," so that a defense of some 
sort undoubtedly existed there prior to that date. We have 
nothing on record to indicate the fact that the Government 
made any systematic arrangement for defense in that locality 


before January, 1756, and can reasonably presume that Capt. 
Kead's detachment were the first provincial soldiers to occupy 
Fort Hunter. It can therefore fairly be taken for granted 
that the settlers themselves began some sort of stockade or 
defense, which, with equal reason, we can presume was about 
the time when the first real danger threatened them, in No- 
vember, 1755, and can easily understand how the soldiers 
would naturally strengthen and complete what had already 
been started. I feel, therefore, that we are justified in naming 
the time about November, 1755, as the date of the' erection of 
Fort Hunter. This is further borne out by the fact that in the 
report made by Edward Shippen to Governor Morris, from 
Lancaster, April 5, 1756, of ammunition distributed, he speci- 
fies "Dec'r 9, 1755, By Thomas Forster, Esq., & Thos. McKee, 
at Hunter's Fort^ 12^ lb, powder and 25 lb. swan shot" (Penn. 
Arch., ii, p. 614) at which time Mr. McKee was probably oc- 
cupying the position with the neighboring settlers. He was 
temporarily relieved in January by the detachment of pro- 
vincial soldiers from Capt. Read's house, and immediately after 
given a command himself and placed in charge of that district 
including Fort Hunter. 

No stone was left unturned by the French in their efforts 
to enlist the Indians of the Province, the Delawares, in their 
cause. Their intrigues, aided by the natural disposition of 
the savage, too often met with success, as is shown by the 
following letter from Captain McKee to Edward Shippen: 

Foart at Hunters Mill^ Ap'l 5th, 1756. 

I desire to let you No that John Secalemy, Indian^ is Come 
here ye Day before yesterday, about 4 o'clock in ye afternoon, 
& Gives me an account that there is a Great Confusion amongst 
ye Indians up ye North branch of Susquehanna ; the Delawares 
are a moving all from thence to Ohio, and wants to Persuade 
ye Shanowes along with them, but they Decline Goe- 
ing with them that course, and as they still incline to join 
with us, the Shanowes are Goeing up to a Town Called Teoga, 
where there is a body of ye Six Nations, and there they Intend 
to Remain. He has brought two more men, so in women & 


som children along with him, and Sayeth that he Intends to 
live & Die with us, and Insists upon my Conducting him down 
to where his Sister and children is, at Canistoga, and I'm 
Loath to leave my Post, as his Honor was offended at ye last 
time I did, but can't help it, he Desires to acquaint you that 
his sister's son was kill'd at Penns Creek, in ye scrimege w'th 
Cap't. Patterson. This with Due Kespect from 

Sir, your Hum'l Ser't, 

(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 616) 

In view of the alarming condition of affairs it was deter- 
mined to select a place for the rendezvous of troops^ and stor- 
age and forwarding of supplies. From its admirable location, 
both on land at no great distance from the source of these 
supplies, and on water by which, in batteaux, they could 
readily be forwarded and distributed. Fort Hunter was at 
once named for that purpose, and on April 7, 1756, Governor 
Morris wrote as follows to Colonel William Clapham, in com- 
mand of that territory: 

Philad% 7th Ap'r., 1756. 


As a Magazine of Provisions and other warlike stores will 
very soon be formed at or near Hunter's Mill upon the river 
Susquehanna, I think it necessary for the Protection thereof, 
and for other Purposes, to order that you appoint the said 
place, called Hunter's Mill, or some convenient place near it, 
for the Gen'l Kandezvous of your regiment now raising, and 
that you order all the men already enlisted, not employed 
upon some other service, to march immediately to the said 
Randezvous, and all your recruiting parties to send their 
rescruits thither from time to time. 

You will order proper guards upon the magazine, and upon 
the boats & cannoes which shall be collected there pursuant 
to my orders^ you will give directions that the officers and men 
keep themselves in good order, and ready to go upon duty at 
an hour's warning. 

You will inform the Commissioners of these my orders, and 


apply to them for the things necessary to carry them into exe^ 
cution. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 616.) 

The next day Governor Morris, himself, writes to the Com- 
missioners giving them a synopsis of the above orders. One 
of them, Edward Shippen, realizing how well Fort Harris was 
adapted for storage purposes, does not approve of erecting 
a multiplicity of stockades all over the country and even doubts 
the advantage of making a storehouse of Hunter's Mill. He 
writes from Lancaster, under date of April 19th, 1756^ amongst 
other things "Hunter's house indeed would answer such a 
purpose were it Stockado'd; but as it is quite naked, and 
stands five or six hundred feet from the Fort, the enemy may 
Surprise it in ye night, and kill the people, and set ye roof 
on fire in three or four places at once, and if the Centerys 
Should discern the fire as soon as it begins to blaze, it might 
be too difficult a task for them to quench it without buckets 
or pails. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 635). In the same letter he men- 
tions the fact that Captain McKee's Plantation is 25 miles 
above Fort Hunter. 

Hunter's Mill was, however a very important place, and 
needed for other purposes besides that of mere storage, and 
Colonel Clapham's orders are not countermanded. He writes 
from Fort Halifax, July 1st, "I shall leave a Sergeant's Party 
at Harris's, consisting of twelve men. Twenty-four at Hunter's 
Fort, Twenty-four at McKee's Store, each Under the Com- 
mand of an Ensign, and Cap'n Miles with Thirty men at Fort 
Halifax;" (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 686)^ and still further writes 
August 17th, from Fort Augusta that the garrisons at Fort 
Halifax, Hunter's and McKee's Store had very little ammuni- 
tion. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 751). 

On June 11, 1756, Col. Clapham notifies the Governor from 
his camp at Armstrong's, that he has stationed a party of 
twenty-four, men under the command of Mr. Johnson, at 
Hunter's Fort^ with orders to defend that Post and the neigh- 
borhood, and to escort any provisions, that should come to 
him, up to McKee's Store. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 663). The fol- 
lowing orders to the Commanding Officer at Hunter's Fort 
are recorded: 

"Whither Mr. Johnson or Mr. Mears is ordered to furnish an 


escort of Fifteen men, under command of a Sergeant, to con- 
duct 4he waggon Master General, Mr. Erwin, to Fort Halifax, 
there join a Detachment from Captain Jemisons Company, to 
be Commanded by Lieutenant Anderson, and march to Fort 

The Commanding officer, at Hunter's Fort, is to take great 
Care of the Battoes, and not to suffer them to be us'd unless by 
my particular Orders; he is likewise to weigh the two Cannon 
which now lie in the water and place them on the Bank, at 
some convenient Place for Transportation, till further Orders. 

Fort Augusta, November 3rd, 1756. 

A copy of Orders to the Commander at Hunter's Fort. 

Orders to the Commanding officer at Fort Hunter. 

Inclosed in Col'el Claphams, of 23d Nov'r, 1756. (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 17). 

Novr. 13, 1756, the State of the Garrison was: 

Number of men — 2 Sargants, 34 private Men. 

Ammunition — 4^ lb. Powder, 28 lb. of Lead. 

Provision — one thousand wight Flower, Two thousand of 

Men's Times Up — 2 Men's Times. 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 52.) 

About this time Kobert Erwin, on his way from Philada. 
to Fort Augusta, with a draft of horses for the use of that 
garrison, applied to Mr. Mears, the Commandant of Fort 
Hunter, for an escort, claiming that such were the instructions 
of Col. Clapham, but was refused it, Mr. Mears informing 
him "that he should not pay any Kegard to these Orders of 
Colonel Clapham or the Governour's, for how coul'd the Gov- 
ernor give him Command of that Fort and yet Command it 
himself," whereupon, learning that there was the greatest want 
of the horses at Fort Augusta, Mr. Erwin felt obliged to pro- 
ceed without his escort. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 64). 

On March 14th, 1757, Lord Loudoun arrived at Philadelphia, 
where he remained two weeks, in consultation with Governor 
Denny. As a result of the conference on the defense of the 
Province, at which Col. Clapham and Lieut. Colonels Weiser 



and Armstrong were present, amongst other things it was 
decided that 400 men should be kept at Fort Augusta, and the 
works there completed; that 100 men should constitute the 
garrison of Fort Halifax, and that Fort Hunter should be 
demolished, only 50 men being retained there temporarily 
until the removal of the Magazine, which was to take place 
as soon as possible. The long frontier, of the Blue Range, 
between the Susquehanna and Delaware was to be defended 
by Col. Weiser's Battalion, and the forts reduced to three 
in number. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 119). 

This at once caused consternation amongst the settlers in 
its neighborhood and brought forth from them an earnest 
appeal to the Government, mention of which is made in the 
Minutes of the Council held at Philadelphia, Thursday, August 
25th, 1757, as follows : 

"A Petition from the Inhabitants of the Township of 
Paxtang was read, setting forth that the evacuating Fort 
Hunter is a great Discouragement to that Township ; that 
Fort Halifax is not necessary to secure the Communication 
with Fort Augusta, and is not so proper a Station for the 
Battoe Parties as Fort Hunter, and praying the Governor 
Avould please to fix a sufficient number of men at Hunter's 
under the Command of an active ofificer, with strict orders 
to range the Frontiers daily." 

^'Commissary Young attended, and informed the Governor 
and Council that Fort Halifax was built by Col. Clapham, 
without the Order of Governor Morris; that it is a very bad 
Situation, being built beyond Two Ranges of Hills, and no 
body living near it, none could be protected by it; that it is 
no Station for Battoe parties, having no Command of the 
Channel, which runs close on the Western Shore, and is be- 
sides covered with a large Island between the Channel and 
Fort, so that numbers of the Eenemy may even in the day time, 
run down the River without being seen by that Garrison. 
He further said that tho' the Fort, or Block-house, at Hunter's 
was not tenable, being hastily erected, and not finished, yet 
the Situation was the best upon the River for every Service, 
as well as for the Protection of the Frontiers." (Col. Records, 
vol. ii, p. 724). 


\ Fearing tMs appeal might fail for lack of a little influence, 
the Kev'd John Elder, of Paxton, adds a personal entreaty in 
a letter to Eichard Peters, Esq., of Phila., secretary of the 
Council, dated July 30, 1757, thus: 


As we of this Township have Petition'd the Gov'r for a re- 
moval of the Garrison from Halifax to Hunter's, I beg the 
favour of you to use your interest with his Hon'r on our be- 
half. The Defense of Halifax is of no advantage, but a Gar- 
rison at Hunter's, under the Gomniand of an active Officer, 
will be of great Service; it will render the carriage of Pro- 
visions & Ammunition for the use of Augusta more easy & 
less expensive, and by encouraging the Inhabitants to con- 
tinue in their Places, will i^revent the weakening of the fron- 
tier Settlements; we have only hinted at these things in the 
Petition, which you'll please enlarge on in Conversation with 
the Gov'r & urge in Such a manner as you think proper. It's 
well known that Eepresentation from the back Inhabitants 
have but little weight with the Gentlem'n in Power, they look- 
ing on us either as uncapable of forming just notions of 
things, or as biass'd by Selfish Views; however, I'm Satisfy'd 
that you Sir, have more favorable conception of us; and that, 
from the knowledge you have of the Situation of the Places 
mentioned in our Petition, you'll readily agree with us, & 
use your best Offices with the Gov'r to prevail with him to 
grant it ; and you'll very much oblige. 

Y'r most obed't 

& hu'l Ser't, 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 251.) JOHN ELDER. 

It is gratifying to know that this letter met with the success 
it so well deserved. Fort Hunter was not demolished, but, on 
the contrary, strengthened, and, on Feb'y 5th, 1758, we have 
a return of Adjutant Kern which gives, under Cap't. Patter- 
son and L't Allen a garrison of 40 men, having 44 provincial 
and 3 private muskets, with 15 lbs. of powder and 20 lbs. of 
lead, (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 340) ; whilst, on Feb. 9, 1758, Jas. 
Young, Commiss'r of the Musters, reports the force on duty 


at that point in the pay of the Province, as one company of 
54 men, (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 341). James Burd, in his Journal, 
says, Saturday, Feb'y 18th, 1758, "sett off for Hunter's Fort 
(from Fort Harris), arrived at dark, found the Cap'ts Patter- 
son & Davis here with 80 men, the Cap'ts informs me that 
they have not above 3 loads of Ammunition A man, ordered 
Mr. Barney Hughes (commissary of supplies) to send up here 
a Barrel of powder & lead, answerable in the mean time, bor- 
rowed of Thomas Galloher 40 pound of poudder & 100 pound of 
lead ; Ordered a Review of the Garrison to-morrow morning at 
9 A. M. 

19th, Sunday. 

Had a Eeview this morning of Capt'n Patterson's Co. and 
found them Compleat, 53 men, 44 Province arms, & 44 Car- 
touch boxes, no powder, nor lead, divided J pint of poudder 
& lead in Proportion a man, found in this Fort 4 months Pro- 
vision for the Garrison. 

Capt'n Davis with his party of 55 men was out of Ammu- 
nition, divided J pint of poudder & lead in proportion to them. 
Capt'n Davis has gott 12 Thousand weight of flour for the 
Battoes, Sundry of the Battoes are leeky, that they can't swim 
and must be left behind. 

Capt'n Patterson can't Scout at present for want of officers. 
Ordered him to apply to the Country to Assist him to Stock- 
ade the Fort aggreable to their promise to His Hon'r the Gov- 
ernor. 3 men sick here. 

This day at 11 A. M. march'd for Fort Swettarrow, got to 
Crawfort's, 14 miles from Hunter's, here I stay all night, it 
rain'd hard.'' (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 352). 

Nothwithstanding its apparent necessity, the work of com- 
pleting the Stockade seems to have gone slowly as we notice 
by the following letter to Gov. Denny : 

Fort Himter, ye 22d July, 1758. 
Please your honour: 

Whereas, I have the honour to bear a Commission in your 
Regiment, I was left in the Garrison of Fort Hunter, and re- 
ceived Orders from Gen'l Forbes to repair it, and sent an En- 


gineer to inspect into the condition, who found necessary to 
Stockade it, for which purpose I was to get the Country- 
People; and accordingly apply'd to the several Justices of the 
Peace for the Townships of Paxton and Donegal, which latter 
I never had any answer from, but was informed by Parson 
Elder, of Paxton, whose word is the same w'th that of the 
Justices, as they act in conjunction in such affairs, that till 
harvest be over the Country People can do nothing; there- 
fore thought propper to acquaint you of this, as a duty in- 
cumbent, also that I am relieved, and that should the work 
of the fort be Pospon'd till harvest be over, 'twill be yet three 
weeks before they begin. 

I am, your Honours 

most obed't 
& most hum'le Ser't, 

P. S. — The stockades are cut. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 488.) 

In spite of the constant vigilance of the soldiers, depreda- 
tions were committed by the savages almost within the shadow 
of the fort, as is shown by the following, 

Extract of a Letter from Mr. Bertram Galbraith at Hunter's 
Fort, dated Octob'r, 1757: 

^^Notwithstanding the happy Situation we thought this 
place was in on Captain Bussee's being stationed here, we 
have had a man killed & scalped this Evening, within twenty 
rods of Hunter's Barn. We all turned out, but night coming 
on so soon we could make no pursuit. We have advice from 
Fort Henry by Express to Cap't. Bussee that the Indians are 
seen large Bodies, 60 together." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 277). 

This is confirmed by the following report of Capt. Christian 
Busse to Governor Denny : 

Hunter's Fort, the 3d Octoler, 1757. 
May it Ple_ase Your Honour : 

In my Coming Back from Kainging allong the Fruntears on 
Saturday the first Instant, I Heard that the Day Before, 
Twelve Indians ware seen not fare off from hear, as it was Leat, 
and not knowing their Further Strength, I thought To Go at 


Day Braek nixt morning, with as many Soldiers and Battowe- 
men as I could get. But In a Short Time we Heard A Gun 
fire off, and Eunning Deirectly To the Spot, found the Dead 
Boddey of one William Martin, who went into the woods To 
pick up Chestnuts where the Indians was lying in ambush. 
I ordered all the men to Run into the woods, and we Rainged 
till it Grew Quite Dark; the Continual Rain that Has Been 
Sins, Has Hindered my following them; there was a Number 
of the inhabitants Came Here to assist in following them, but 
the wether prevented. There ware onley 3 Indians onley Seen 
By Some people, Who Ware siting Before the Dore of Mister 
Hunter, and they say, that all Was Don In Less than four 
minutes; that same night, I warned the Inhabitants to Be 
upon their Guards, and in the morning, I Rainged on this side 
the mounton the Nixt Day. But my men Being few in Num- 
ber, By Rason of their Being fourteen of them sick, I Could 
Not Be Long from the Garrison ; and it seems yet probable To 
me, that there is Great Numbers of the Enimy Indians on 
this River. The Townships of Paxton and Derry, Have 
Agreed to keep a Guard for Some Time in the frunteer 
Houses, from Manaday to Susquahannah, and Expects that 
your Honour will be pleased to Reinforse this Detachment. 
If thease ToAvn ships should Break up, the Communication 
Between Port Augusta and the Inhabitants would Be Great- 
ley Endaingred. 

I am, with Greatest Respect, 

Your Honours, 
Most Obedient Humble Servant, 


To the Honourable William Deney, Esq'r, Governour and 
Commander In Chief of the Provance of Pennsylvania. 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 279.) 

Captain James Patterson, who was later in Command at 
Fort Hunter, sent, on Jany 10, 1758, to Gov'r Denny, the fol- 
lowing interesting Extracts from his Journal of duties per- 
formed at that place from Deer. 5, 1757, to date : 


Fort Hunter, Jan'ry ye 10th, 1758. 
"I took with 19 men & ranged from this Fort as far as 
Kobinson's Fort, where I lodged, keeping a guard of six men 
& one Corporal on Gentry that night. The sixth day I marched 
towards Hunter's Fort, ranging along the mountain foot very 
diligently till I came to the Fort that evening, my men being 
so afflicted with sickness I could not send out till the eighth 
day, Lieu't Allen, with 14 men, went to Eange for three days. 
On the 12th day Lieu't Allen, with Eighteen men & one Ser- 
jeant ranged along the mountain about 14 miles from this 
Fort, where he met Cap't. Lien't Weiser with his party & re- 
turned back towards this Fort the next day & came to it that 
night. The fifteenth, Lieu't Allen, with 18 men, kept along the 
Frontier til the 25th & came to this Fort that night. Hearing 
of Indians harbouring about Juniatta, on the 28th of Decem- 
ber, I took 15 men with me up the Creek, and about 14 miles 
from the mouth of it I found fresh tracks of Indians on both 
sides of the Creek & followed the tracks about four miles up 
the said Creek, where I lost the tracks. But I still kept up 
the Creek 'till I gott up about twenty-five miles from the 
mouth of said Creek, where I encamped that night. The In- 
dians I found were round me all the night, for my Dogg made 
several attacks towards the Woods as if he saw the Enemy 
and still run Back to the Centry. On the 3d of January I 
returned down the Creek in some Canoes that I found on said 
Creek, and when I came about nine miles down I espied about 
20 Indians on the opposite side of the Creek to where I was. 
They seemed to gett themselves in order to fire upon the men 
that were in Canoes. I immediately ordered them all out but 
two men that let the Canoes float close under the shore, and 
kept the Land in readiness to fire upon the Enemy, as soon as 
they moved out of the place where they lay in Ambush, but I 
could see no more of them. On the 5th day of January, I came 
to this Fort. On the sixth day I sent a Serjeant & Corppral 
with 15 men along the Frontiers of Paxton and Mannadys, 
about fourteen miles from this Fort, and on the seventh day 
they returned back to said Fort. On their march one of the 
Soldiers espied two Indians Just by one of the Frontier plan- 
tations; the Soldiers gave the Serjeant notice and the Serjeant 


kept on his course, as if he had not know anthing of the In- 
dians, till he gott some Bushes between the party & the In- 
dians and then gott round the place where the Indians were 
seen, but they happening to see the party run off, when our 
party came to the place they saw the Tracks of the Indians 
plain where they run off. As I am recruiting to fill up my 
Comply again, and my recruits are not all qualfied as yet, it 
is not in my power to send y'r Hon'r a Roll of my Comply, 
but expect in a few days to be in Capacity of doing it. As I 
am insensible there are Enemy Indians upon the Coast, I 
thought it fitting to send y'r Hon'r this Journal, & remain, 

Y'r Honour's Most obedient 
humble Servant, 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 332.) JAMES PATTERSON, 

Truly the days of the Provincial Soldier of the French and 
Indians Wars were not passed in luxury and ease nor his 
nights upon a bed of roses. However, with the success of the 
British arms and consequent discomfiture of the French, the 
scene of action was shifted during 1758, and the garrison of 
Fort Hunter had a rest until 1763, when Pontiac and his fol- 
lowers burst like a storm upon our western frontiers and 
again deluged its fair fields with blood. Hunter's Mill was 
once more selected as a place of rendezvous for men and 
stores, and, in June, 1763, we find Joseph Shippen, Jr., Gov- 
ernor Hamilton's Secretary, there in person, giving attention 
to the recruiting of soldiers, collecting of batteaux, and gather- 
ing of stores to be sent up the river to Fort Augusta. (Penn. 
Arch., iv, p. 111). A list of ten canoes hired from sundry 
parties at a cost of £5-10 is given, (Penn. Arch., iv, p. 112). 
The danger was imminent and it was determined to recruit 
seven hundred men for the defence of the frontier. Full in- 
structions to that effect are given, July 11th, to Col. Arm- 
strong. (Penn. Arch., iv, p. 114). As the stores went forward 
to Fort Augusta they were accompanied by small detach- 
ments of soldiers as guards, to whom full and implicit orders 
were given to guard against surprise. (Penn. Arch., iv, p. 113). 

Fortunately the strife though bloody was short, and, with 


its close, the Angel of Peace took the place alike of warlike 
man and merciless savage. Fort Hunter remained such in 
name only until its last log had disappeared and now its mem- 
ory alone exists. When the Due de la Kochefoucauld-Lian- 
court, a French traveller, passed up the Susquehanna in 1796, 
he stopped at three settlements only, the first of which was 
Fort Hunter. It had then passed into the hands of Mr. Mc- 
Allister. He says, in substance, ''McAllister owns about 300 
acres — about 120 cultivated. Price of lands near to him is 
|8 for woodland ; |50 for cleared. The houses, all of wood ex- 
cept the inn, stand on the Susquehanna and in the precincts 
of Fort Hunter, erected many years ago." (Penn. Hist. Col- 
lections, Sherman Day, p. 281). 

Mr. E. McAllister, of Harrisburg, has written the following 
interesting statement : — 

"The site of Fort Hunter is situated exactly six miles above 
Harrisburg on the Susquehanna river, at its junction with 
Fishing Creek. There are no remains of this fort, as upon its 
ancient foundations there is a very large storehouse, built by 
my grandfather Archibald McAllister, in 1814, and now owned 
by my father, Captain John C. McAllister. The situation of 
this house is very commanding, about 80 feet above the river 
Susquehanna and the surrounding scenery is of the most ro- 
mantic character. 

"During the Kevolutionary War and the early periods of our 
history, a block-house or fort occupied the site upon which 
now stands my father's large stone residence. This fort was 
called the 'English Fort Hunter.' About a mile above this 
point, where the river has evidently forced its way through a 
mountain pass, and where the river is narrow, deep and swift, 
immediately below the romantic village of Dauphin, where 
immense rocks (not yet worn away by the hand of time or the 
friction of the water) jut out of the water, at this point, at 
the very base of the Kittattiny Mountains, the river is called 
'Hunter's Falls.' 

"In distinction from the 'English Fort Hunter,' there was 
another fort about one mile below this on the summit of the 
second mountain, a very high peak, entirely commanding the 
Susquehanna river, overlooking Harrisburg, and called the 


'Indian Fort Hunter.' At this point tradition informs us that 
the Indians had some sort of an erection from which they 
would occasionally emerge, and after committing great dep- 
redations they would again retire to their stronghold, which 
was the terror of the country. To keep these Indians in check 
I have always understood that the English Fort was built. 
Tradition still delights to recount many fierce conflicts occur- 
ing between the inhabitants of these forts. Of the Indian 
Fort Hunter, which as a boy, I have frequently visited, there 
are yet distinct remains (1856). There is still to be seen a 
circular excavation of about four feet in depth and thirty 
feet in diameter. In this can yet be found heads of Indian 
arrows and other evidences of its former use." (Penn. Arch., 
xii, p. 378). 

The property built on the site of the Fort is now owned 
by the Estate of Daniel Boas, and occupied by John W. Keily. 

I give a sketch showing in detail the location of Fort Hun- 
ter and its various surroundings. 

All evidence and concurrent testimony locate the fort as 
shown, on a narrow elevation of gravel and boulders, about 
40 feet high, at the mouth of the Fishing Creek where it 
empties into the Susquehanna Elver. It is also on the Harris- 
burg and Daui)hin Pike, about one-half mile north of the rail- 
road bridge at Kockville. The Susquehanna Eiver is here 
about seven-eighths mile wide, and the space, of about 150 
feet, between the pike and the river, which constitutes the 
grounds of the present substantial stone house built on the 
site of the fort, is very beautiful. The Pennsylvania Canal, 
Northern Central, and Schuylkill and Susquehanna Eailroads, 
all close together, pass by, to the west, distant about 600 
yards. In the rear of the barn, now standing on the opposite 
side of the pike from the Fort, were formerly erected barracks 
for the better accommodation of the soldiers forming the 
garrison, and recruits gathered for other points. A house 
and barn occupy the site of Hunter's house and barn, as 
shown. Hunter's Mill proper, was located where now stands 
the mill owned by iVbr. Eeam, which is built on its site, 
distant about 500 yards west of the fort. This will explain the 
various remarks made with regard to the unprotected nature of 


Hunter's Mill, when it was suggested that it. should be used 
for a storehouse. We can readily see, also, how the command- 
ing position of Fort Hunter, on the spot where actually built, 
made it most important, whilst its location, at the Mill proper 
would have had the opposite effect, even if better protection 
had been afforded, thereby, to said building. A little over 
one mile in a southeasterly direction from the Fort is the base 
of a prominent peak of the Blue Mountains on which, for a 
number of yearsj was displayed a flag marking the position 
of the so-called ''Indian Fort Hunter," of which Mr. McAllister 
speaks. It is to be regretted that this misleading term has 
come into such general use. It was contrary to the custom 
and nature of the Indian to erect any defense which might 
properly be called a ''Fort." Especially in the French and 
Indian wars, so far as they relate to this vicinity, the savages 
never attempted to gather together at any one place, as head- 
quarters, and fortify the same; least of all did they do so 
near Fort Hunter. We have seen from the records, that the 
marauding parties of the enemy were not of that immediate 
neighborhood, but, as at every other place, they consisted of 
small parties, from great& or less distances, bent solely on 
murder and plunder. I have learned nothing about the cir- 
cular excavation of which Mr. McAllister writes, but have as- 
certained that there are still to be seen places in the rocks 
which have been hollowed out, of a smaller size, where, prob- 
ably the women were accustomed to grind their corn. The 
place evidently marks the site of an Indian village, existing 
prior to the French and Indian wars. The large excavation 
mentioned may have been a natural hollow, or, if made by 
the aborigines, could have been used for many different pur- 

Fort Hunter, it is true, was merely a block-house surrounded 
by a stockade, not so pretentious, perhaps, in size or appearance 
as some of its neighbors, but, after, reviewing its history, 
we can hardly fail to realize its great importance and the prom- 
inent part it played in the history of the times. It would 
certainly be a source of regret were its location not to be per- 
petuated by a monument of some sort. 



The passage through the Blue Mountains, called Manada 
Gap, is distant from Fort Hunter about twelve miles. Be- 
cause of this fact, and the necessity for guarding such a 
prominent gateway to the populous district below, the Gov- 
ernment occupied said locality as its next station, in accord- 
ance with its general plan of defense. In the few descrip- 
tions 'given of this position more or less confusion exists. 
Fortunately, by extensive personal research, I have been able 
to solve the problem. To understand it more thoroughly it 
will be well, first, to glance at such records of the place as 

Immediately after the outbreak of the savages along the 
Susquehanna, during the Fall of 1755, they began to threaten 
the settlements further east. We accordingly find the in- 
structions issued to Adam Bead, under date of January 10th, 
1756, of which mention has already been made, to detach 
twenty-five men from the Compaq at his house and send 
them to Hunter's Mill, so that they might range the moun- 
tains between that place and his residence. With the rest of 
his command, which remained at his house, he, in turn, was 
likewise to range the mountains towards Fort Hunter. (Penn. 
Arch, ii, p. 545.) These in.structions were soon followed by 
the notification, Jan. 26th, to Mr. Bead that "Capt. Frederick 
Smith having been appointed to take post with an Indepen- 
dent Company at the Gap where Swehatara passes the Moun- 
tains, and to station a detachment of his Company at Mona- 
day," there would no longer be any necessity for him to guard 
that frontier and that accordingly he was relieved from said 
duty. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 551.) In connection with these in- 
structions to Mr. Bead, and of the same date, were the orders 
sent to Capt. Smith, viz : 

Sir: — "Having appointed you Cap'n of a Company of foot 
to be paid and supplied, I think it necessary to give you the 
following orders and Instructions, according to the following 
Establishm't, viz: for your better government in the Execu- 
tion of the trust reposed in you. *****♦*♦ 
















You are to leave at Swehatara a part of your Company, suffi- 
cient to maintain that post under one of your officers, and 
with the remainder of your Company you are to Proceed to 
the gap where the river Monaday passes the Mountains, and 
Either take possession and strengthen the Stuccado already 
erected there, or erect a new one as you shall Judge best, and 
then you are to Eeturn to the fort at Swehatara, which you 
are to make your headquarters, leaving twenty men under 
the Command of a Commissioned Officer at the fort at Mona- 
day, and relieving them from time to time, in part or in whole 
as you shall think proper. 

You are to Communicate these Instructions to your Officers, 
that are stationed at the fort at Monaday, and if you Judge 
it necessary you may give them coppys for their better gov- 

As you are unacquainted with the situation of the country, 
on the northern frontier of the county of Lancaster (now 
Lebanon), where you are to take post, I have Directed James 
Gelbreth, Esq'r, to furnish you with all the information in 
his Power, and to afford you his advice and assistance, not 
only in the Choice of ground proper to erect the forts upon, 
but as to any other matters that may relate to the service 
you are upon, and you will apply to him for such assistance 
from time to time as you stand in need of it. 

You are to receive of Cap't. Bead & Cap't. Hedericks, such 
arms, accoutriments. Blankets and stores, as belong to the 
Province of which you are to return an exact account to me, 
and take care of such as shall remain in your Hands, and 
Having ordered Cap't. Thomas McKee to raise a company of 
Thirty men, and to take post and to scour the country between 
Sasquahana & Monaday, you are upon his application to sup- 
ply him with such of the s'd arms, accoutriments, tools. 
Blankets and stores as you can spare from your own Company, 
taking his receipt for the same, and inform me of what you 
supply him with." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 552-553.) 

In conjunction with these orders to Capt. Smith, the Gov- 
ernor wrote as follows to James Galbraith, the Commissary: 

"I have ordered Capt. Smith, with a Company from Chester 
County, to take post at the Gap at Swehatara, and to station 


a detachment of his men at Monaday, either in the Stockades 
already built there, or to erect such others as he may Judge 
best; but as he is a stranger to that part of the country, I 
must desire you will assist him with your advice, not only as 
to the most advantageous situations for the forts, in case it 
should be resolved to erect new ones, but in anything else 
that the service may require, and let me know from time to 
time what is done in that quarter." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 554.) 

These records indicate that a stockade had already been 
erected, or commenced, prior to 1756. Like Fort Hunter it 
is probable that it was built by the settlers, during the latter 
part of 1755, for mutual protection, and later, in January, 
1756, occupied by the soldiers. Whilst the instructions of the 
Governor gave license to erect a new fort, if deemed advisable, 
yet it is most likely Capt. Smith, the commanding officer, ac- 
cepted the already completed work of the settlers, placed ac- 
cording to their good judgment. Amongst the comparatively 
few papers which give an account of Manada Fort there is 
nothing stated to the contrary, and my personal investiga- 
tions tend to prove the same fact. 

On July 11th, 1756, Col. Conrad Weiser gives Gov. Morris 
a statement of his disposition of the troops, wherein '^nine 
men are to stay constantly in Manity Fort, and Six men to 
range Eastward from Manity towards Swataro, and Six men 
to range Westward towards Susquehannah. Each Party so 
farr that they may reach their Fort again before Night." 
(Penn Arch., ii, p. 696.) 

Notwithstanding these apparently active preparations and 
the faithful scouting doubtless done by the soldiers, yet the 
Indians were not to be thwarted in their murderous work, 
and, before long, some of their own number were to fall vic- 
tims to the unfailing vigilance of the savage, owing, it must 
be admitted, to a temporary relaxation of their own watchful- 
ness. In a letter of August 7th, 1756, to Edward Shippen 
this interesting and unfortunate event is related by Adam 
Head, as follows : 

Sir: ^'Yesterday Jacob Elles a Soldier of Cap't Smith's at 
Brown's forth, a Liver before, 2J Milles over ye first Moun- 
tain just within the gape at s'd forth, having some wheat grow- 


ing at Ms place preveVd with Ms officer for some of ye men to 
help him cut a Little of ye same, accordingly 10 of them 
went, set guards Bound & fell to work, about 10 of ye Clock, 
they had reaped down & went to ye head to Begin again, and 
before they had all well Begon, 3 Indians Crep't to ye fence 
just at their Back, & all 3 at one penal of the fence fired upon 
them, killed their Corprall dead and another that was stand- 
ing with his gun in one hand & a Botle in ye other was 
wounded, his left arm is Brock in 2 places so that his gun fell, 
he Being a little more down the field, the field Being about 15 
or 16 poll in length, them that Keape'd had their arms about 
half way down at a large tree as soon as ye Indians found they 
did not load their guns but leap'd over ye fence into the 
middle of them & one of them left his gun Behind him without 
ye fence, they all run thorow one another & thorow one an- 
other, ye Indians making a tarable Holo, and looked liker ye 
devel than an Indian, the Soulders fled to their Arms & as 3 
of them stood Behind ye tree with their Arms ye Indian that 
came in wanting his gun, came within a few yards of them & 
took up the wounded Solder's gun & would ahave killed 
another had not one that pursued him fired at him, so that 
he dropped ye gun, the Indian fled, and in going off, 2 Soldiars 
stood about a Kod apart, a Indian run thorow Betwixt them, 
they both fired at him, yet he went off Cleer, when they were 
over ye fence a Soldier fired at one of them upon which he 
stooped a little and so went all 3 off, a litle after they left ye 
field they fired one gun and gave a hollo, the Solder hid the 
one that was killed, went home to the forth found James 
Brown that lives in ye forth one of their Solders a Missing, 
the Lieutinant went out with more men and Brought in the 
dead man but still Brown was missing. I herd shooting that 
night, I went up next morning with some hands, Captain 
Smith had sent up more men from the other fort, went out 
next morning & against I got there word had come in from 
them they had found James Brown Killed and Scalped. I 
went over with them to bring him home, he was killed with 
the last shot about 20 poll from the field of Battle, his gun, 
his showes & jacket carried off, the soulders that found him 
told me that they track'd the 3 Indians to the Second Moun- 


tan & they found one of the Indians guns a little from Browns 
Corps Brock to in pieces as she had been good for little, they 
showed me where ye Indians fired thorow ye fence & it was 
full Elevan yards to where the man lay dead ; ye Kising ground 
above ye feild was clear of standing timber & the grubes low, 
so that they kept a Bad look out. The above acc't you may 
depend upon me, we have almost lost all Hopes of anything 
but to move off and loose our cropes we have Keap'd with so 
much defickulty." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 738). 

On the same subject and about the same time Commissary 
James Galbraith wrote, August 10, from Derry, to Governor 
Hamilton, as follows : 

"Honored Sir, There is nothing heare allmost Evry day but 
murder Commited by the Indians in som part or oather ; about 
five mills above me, at Monaday Gape, there was two of the 
provance solders kild, one wounded; there wase but three 
Indians, and they came in amongst ten of our men and com- 
mitted the murder, and went off safe; the name or sight of 
an Indian maks allmost all mankind in these parts to trimble, 
there Barbarity is so Cruel where they are masters, for by all 
appearances the Devall Commitans, God permits, and the 
French pays, and by this the Back parts, by all apparance, 
will be Laid west by flight, with what is gon and agoing, 
more Espesaly Cumberland County.-' (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 740). 

How many more unfortunates in this neighborhood fell 
victims to the merciless tomahawk, which was fast laying 
waste all the frontier settlements, as Mr. Galbraith said, is 
not stated, but in October, 1756, Adam Read sends another 
letter to Mr. Shippen, &ca, pleading for assistance, which was 
duly laid before the Provincial Council and appears on its 
minutes as follows : 

"Friends and Fellow Subjects: 

I send you, in a few lines, the maloncholly condition of the 
Frontiers of this County ; last Tuesday the 12 of this Instant, 
ten Indians came on Noah Frederick plowing in his Field, 
killed and scalped him and carried away three of his children 
that was with him, the Eldest but Nine Years old, plundered 
his House, and carried away everything that suited their pur- 


pose, such, as Oloaths, Bread, Butter, a Saddle and good 
Riffle Gun &ca, it being but two short Miles from Captain 
Smith's Fort, at Swatawro Gap, and a little better than two 
from my House. 

Last Saturday Evening an Indian came to the House of 
Philip Eobeson, carrying a Green Bush before him, said Robe- 
son's Son being on the Corner of his Fort watching others 
that was dressing flesh by him, the Indian perceiving that he 
was observed fled; the watchman fired but missed him; this 
being three quarters of a mile from Manady Fort ; and Yester- 
day Morning, two Miles from Smith's Fort, at Swatawro, in 
Bethel Township, as Jacob Fornwal was going from the house 
of Jacob Meyler to his own, was fired upon by two Indians 
and wounded, but escaped with his life, and a little after, in 
the said Township, as Frederick Henley and Peter Stample 
was carrying away their Goods in waggons was met by a 
parcel of Indians and all Killed, five lying Dead in one place 
and one Man at a little distance, but what more is done is riot 
come to my Hand as yet, but that the Indians was continuing 
their Murders. The Frontiers is employed in nothing but 
carrying off their Effects, so that some Miles is now waist. 
We are willing, but not able without help ; You are able if you 
be willing (that is Including the lower parts of the Country), 
to give us such assistance as will enable us to redeem our 
waist Land; You may depend on it that without Assistance 
we in a few days will be on the wrong side of you, for I am 
now a Frontier, and I fear that the Morrow Night I will be 
left some Miles. Gentlemen, consider what you will do, and 
not be long about it, and let not the World say that we die 
as fools dyed. Our Hands is not tied, but let us exert our- 
selves and do something for the Honour of our Country and 
the preservation of our Fellow Subjects. I hope you will 
communicate our Grievances to the lower parts of our County, 
for surely they will send us some help if they understand our 
Grievances. I wou'd have gone down myself, but dare not, 
my Family is in such Danger. I expect an Answer by the 
Bearer, if Possible." 

I am, Gentlemen, Your very humble Servant, 



Before sending this away 1 have just rec'd information that 
there is seven Killed & five Children Scalped a Live, but not 
the Account of their names." 

On reading these Accounts the Governor was advised to 
lay them and the other Intelligence before the Assembly, and 
in the Strongest Terms to press them again for a Militia Law, 
as the only thing that woul'd enable the Country to exert their 
strength against these cruel savages. (Col. Kec, vii, p. 303). 

This was immediately done by the Governor but action on 
the part of the Quaker Assembly was very slow and the 
terrible work still went on. 

Here practically ends the narrative of recorded events in 
and about Manada Gap, except the interesting journal of 
Captain James Patterson, stationed at Fort Hunter, which 
is dated Dec'r, 1757. His duties kept him ranging along the 
mountains between that place, Manada and Swatara Gaps, 
and the journal has already been given under the head of Fort 
Hunter. In addition to this journal is a diary of James Burd 
whilst on his tour of inspection to the various forts. At 
11.00 A. M., on Sunday, February 19, 1758, he left Fort Hunter 
on his way to Fort Swatara. He says "got to Crawford's, 14 
miles from Hunter's, here I stay all night, it rain'd hard. 
Had a Number of applications from the Country for Pro- 
tection, otherwise they would be immediately obliged to fly 
from their Settlements, appointed to meet them to hear their 
Complaints, and proposaels on Tuesday at 10.00 A. M., at Fort 
Swetarrow; the Country is thick settled this march along the 
blue mountains & very fine Plantations." Upon his arrival at 
Fort Swatara he reviewed the garrison, inspected the fort and 
its stores, and gave orders for a sergeant and twelve men to 
be always out on the scout towards Crawford's, near Manada 
Gap. On Tuesday, Feb. 21st, the country people came in ac- 
cording to appointment, when, after hearing their statement, 
he promised to station an officer and 25 men at Kobertson's 
Mill "situate in the Center between the Forts, Swatarrow & 
Hunter," which gave the people content. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 

After reading over these various records we notice that 
four places are mentioned where soldiers were stationed and 














which were used for defense: — Kobinson's, Kobeson's, or 
Eobertson's Mill (as the writer saw fit to spell the name), 
Manada Fort, Brown's Fort and Squire Bead's house. The 
misunderstanding with regard to Manada Fort has been caused 
by the confounding of these names in the effort to produce 
one or two places only out of what are really four separate 
and distinct stations. 

At this point there is back of the First Mountain, or Blue 
Bange proper, a series of other ranges, known as the Second, 
Third, Fourth, Peter's Mountain, &c. Manada Gap is the nar- 
row passage in the First Mountain where the Manada Greek, 
formed between it and the Second Mountain, has forced its 
way through, on its journey towards its larger sister, the 
Swatara Creek. Bight at this entrance stands to-day the grist 
mill of Mr. Jacob Early on the site of the old Bobinson Mill. 
Mr. Early showed me at the time of my visit November 22, 
1893, an old deed of property dated November 23, 1784, to 
John and James Pettigrew, for over 350 acres of land of 
Timothy Green, on part of ^hich the mill now stands. He 
then explained that his present mill was built in 1891, taking 
the place of a frame structure erected some 55 years ago, 
which, in its turn, rested on the foundation of the original 
mill. This latter was a stone building, and Mr. Early was told 
by the old inhabitants that it had loop holes in it, larger in- 
side than outside and undoubtedly intended for musketry. 
It was admirably adapted for defense and, as we have seen, 
was so used. It was from this building, called ^'Bobeson's 
Fort," that a lad standing at a corner window, whilst watch- 
ing some of the men dressing meat, noticed the approach of 
an Indian who was endeavoring to conceal himself behind a 
green bush, and who fled when discovered and fired upon. 
Whilst excellent, however, in itself, as a place of defense, it 
was too close to the mountain to be conveniently located as a 
place of refuge and protection for the settlers, whose dwell- 
ings were generally more distant from the Gap proper. The 
real Manada Fort, therefore, was built a short distance below 
the Mill, probably by the settlers themselves, in accordance 
with their own judgment, as already stated. Justice Adam 
Bead, in his appeal to the Provincial Council for assistance, 


in speaking of the above incident of the lad discovering the 
Indian, distinctly says that ''Robeson's Fort" (the Mill) was 
three-quarters of a mile from Manada Fort. Diligent search 
on my part finally resulted in ascertaining the exact and au- 
thentic location of the latter fort, vrhich corresponds precisely 
with the record. My principal information was obtained from 
Mr. John N. Hampton, an old gentleman 94 years of age, now 
residing near Grantville, some miles distant, who still remains 
in perfect possession of all his mental faculties and physical 
powers. It so happened that Mr. Hampton, when a young 
man, was engaged in cutting wood at the very spot where the 
fort had stood, the property then of Wm. Thome. Noticing 
an unusual quantity of dead timber he inquired of young Mr. 
Thome the reason and was informed that this was the place 
where stood the Indian Fort. Old Mr. Thome who died 80 
years ago an aged man, also stated the same thing. The fact, 
acquired in this unusual way, became indelibly impressed 
upon his memory. More recently I have had this location cor- 
oborated by Mr. Ziegler, an intelligent elderly gentleman re- 
siding near Harper's, Lebanon county, who remembers hear- 
ing old people mention it in his youth, and also others. I 
give a topographical sketch showing more in detail the situa- 

As will be seen Robeson's or Robinson's Mill and Fort stood 
right in the Mountain Gap, beside the Manada creek. Three- 
quarters of a mile below was Manada Fort, as shown. It 
stood at what is now the west end of the field on which Wm. 
Rhoad's house is built, about 350 yards from the same, and 
about 300 yards distant from Manada creek, beyond it to the 
west. The ground is level and somewhat elevated, falling 
away from the fort to a run of water, immediately below, 
which originates in a spring near Mr. Rhoad's house and flows 
west into Manada creek. About one-half mile to the southeast 
is the Methodist Meeting House, and probably an equal dis- 
tance to the southwest the Manada Furnace. No trace of the 
fort remains, nor any knowledge of its appearance, although, 
from the fact that it was not one of the larger stations, we are 
justified in presuming that it consisted merely of one block 
house surrounded by a stockade. 


1 have previously said that some confusion exists with re- 
gard to the number and location of forts in this vicinity, 
owing principally to the letter written by Mr. Bead to Edward 
Shippen detailing the fight which the soldiers had with the 
Indians in the Gap and death of James Brown. 

Before taking this matter up fully it is well to remember 
that the most populous part of the district was not close to the 
mountains, where stood Manada Fort and Bobeson's Mill, but 
down towards the region of the Swatara creek. The first 
position was necessary as it commanded the passage through 
the mountains; the other was equally necessary for protec- 
tion to the inhabitants and as a place of refuge for them. 
Accordingly, in the early history of savage depredations we 
read of the farmers organizing into companies which made the 
house of Adam Bead their rallying point, and later of a body 
of provincial troops stationed likewise at his home and under 
his command. It might be well here to explain that he was 
a very influential and patriotic gentleman, one of the most 
prominent in the neighborhood. Being a justice of the peace 
he is frequently called Squire Bead, and, holding a commis- 
sion under the Provincial Government we sometimes hear of 
him as Captain Bead. In addition to his house we also read 
of Brown's Fort. To aid further explanation I submit a map 
embracing the entire district. 

It will be noticed that the Swatara creek, which takes a 
southwesterly direction after leaving Swatara Gap, suddenly 
tends to the northwest until once more near the mountain 
when, at the village now called Harper's, it makes a sharp 
turn around and then pursues its regular southwesterly course 
to the Susquehanna river. About one and one-fourth miles 
southeast from Harper's a creek, called "Bead's creek," empties 
into the Swatara. On a road running off from the main road 
to Jonestown, and one-fourth mile above where the latter 
crosses Bead's creek by a bridge, stood Adam Bead's house, 
on property now owned by Sam'l Beigel. This location is 
fixed by Mr. C. D. Zehring, an old gentleman residing at Jones- 
town, who has made frequent surveys thereabouts and obtained 
the information from old deeds and papers in his possession. 
It is corroborated by his brother John, now 79 years old, who 


lived the greater part of his life on Bead's creek, and further 
proven by Mr. Bead himself who, in speaking of the murder 
of Noah Frederick, states that it took place between his home 
and Fort Swatara ^'but two short miles" from the latter and 
''a little better than two" from the former. In other words 
his home was exactly four miles from Fort Swatara, which 
agrees precisely with its position as marked. (Col. Eec, vii, p. 

About two miles distant from Harper's and one and a half 
miles south of the village of Mt. Nebo, on the Swatara creek, 
are still found caves which local tradition unites in saying 
were used by the settlers as places of refuge from the Indians. 
I was shown, by Mr. J. A. Baumgardner, at Harper's, the site 
of what he called an Indian Fort. He remembers very dis- 
tinctly hearing the old people talk about this fort when he 
was a boy, some 40 years ago. 

The sketch given will indicate its position. 

Here, at the bend in the Swatara, Mr. Adam Harper settled 
himself at an early period. His location was the most western 
in the county at that time. He was surrounded by Indians, 
who had a string of wigwams hard by his home. He kept the 
first public house in all that region of country. The place is 
still known as ''Harper's Tavern," and stood as shown. Not 
half a mile distant from this place, in 1756, the Indians killed 
five or six white persons. A woman — a sister of Major Leidig — 
was scalped by the Indians, and, incredible, as it may appear, 
survived this barbarous act and lived for years afterwards. 
(Bupp, p. 353). 

Of course the so called Fort at Harper's was not, strictly 
speaking, -a fort, but merely a place of refuge. It is very 
probable that it was connected in some way, with the Indian 
massacre mentioned above. 

We are now prepared to discuss the remaining defense of 
those centering about Manada and called 



So little is known of this fort, and what little is known is 
of such an indefinite character, that it has been variously 
placed in different counties if placed at all. In the Appendix 
to the Pennsylvania Archives, p. 346, it is said that "there is 
nothing to determine the site of this fort (if indeed there was 
a fort of that name), and the other one not far from it; as the 
letter (Adam Read's) is dated Hanover it was probably either 
in Beaver or Washington county." Whilst it is true that there 
is but little on record concerning Brown's Fort, yet a state- 
ment such as the above is certainly inexcusable. Our chief 
knowledge of this fort is obtained from the letter written by 
Squire Adam Read to Edward Shippen, already given in full, 
wherein he details the shooting of the soldiers. (Penn. Arch., 
ii, p. 738). It is dated "Hanover, August 7th, 1756." His 
residence, just located, stood in what has always been called 
Hanover Township of Lebanon (then Lancaster) county, from 
this time to the present. What more natural then, in the ab- 
sence of our present villages and postoffices, than that he should 
head his communication "Hanover," and what more unnatural 
than to locate the said Hanover in Beaver or Washington 
county. Indeed the postoffices to this day are called East 
and West Hanover. I believe if we consider his letter carefully, 
which does not seem to have been done in the past as it should, 
we may get some light on the matter. Let us do so : 

A soldier, named Jacob Ellis, belonging to Capt. Smith's 
command, was stationed at Brown's Fort. We will here re- 
member that whilst Capt. Smith himself was at Fort Swatara, 
his headquarters, yet a commissioned officer and certain num- 
ber of men from his company, and under his command, were 
stationed at and near Manada Gap. This man Ellis "lived two 
and one-half miles over the first mountain, just within the gap 
at said fort." So we find that Brown's Fort was near the 
gap, and we know that it was Manada Gap from a letter writ- 
ten August 9th by James Galbraith to Edward Shippen in 
which he says, speaking of this very affair "there wase two 


Solders killed and one wounded about two miles from Monaday 
fort." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 740). He had some wheat growing 
at his home and wanted to harvest it, so accordingly prevailed 
upon his officer to give him an escort of ten men to aid in the 
work. Any one who has made a study of this portion of our 
history will readily see that an important part of the soldiers 
duty was guarding the settlers at their work whilst harvesting 
their crops. For that purpose they were divided into small 
parties which were stationed at various suitable farm houses. 
The time of harvest was now at hand, and the mere fact that 
so little mention is made of Brown's Fort is evidence in itself 
that it was no fort at all, strictly speaking, but merely a 
private house temporarily occupied by a squad of soldiers. 
I say a ''squad" of soldiers because, in all such cases, the num- 
ber was limited. If that were so, and it certainly was, then 
there was no commissioned officer with them, and yet we read 
that he obtained the necessary permission from his officer, a 
lieutenant, who gave him so considerable an escort that un- 
doubtedly a part were furnished from his headquarters, which 
was Manada Fort. This would indicate that Brown's Fort 
was at no great distance from Manada Fort. Indeed I was 
somewhat inclined to believe, at first, that they were one and 
the same place, but undoubted information received, to be given 
later, showed me such was not the case. To continue our narra- 
tive, the soldiers went up into the gap, where Ellis lived, and 
got to work, keeping a poor look out. About ten o'clock A. 
M., they were surprised by three Indians, who killed the cor- 
poral and wounded another. For awhile there was quite a 
scene of excitement when finally the Indians fled, giving a war 
whoop and firing a farewell shot. Having hid the dead man 
the other soldiers returned to the fort only to find another 
of their number missing, one named James Brown, who lived 
in the fort. We are then told that the Lieutenant immediately 
went out with more men and brought in the dead body but 
could not find Brown. Here we have several facts mentioned, 
one that the fort was, as I have already said only a private 
house, the residence of a man named Brown, although not 
necessarily James Brown, who may have been merely a son or 


relative living there, but still of some person so called or the 
fort would not have been recorded as Brown's Fort; and the 
other fact suggested is that Brown's Fort and Manada Fort 
were near each other and easy of access, because during a 
comparatively short time in the afternoon, the Lieutenant is 
informed of the calamity, takes a body of men to the spot, 
spends some time in searching for the missing man, and brings 
back the dead body, all before evening, which he could haTdly 
have done had the distances been otherwise than short. As 
will be shown on the map given, the position of Brown's 
Fort was really but one and three-fourths miles east of Manada 
Fort, and, in going from the former to the Gap and back, it 
was almost necessary to pass by the latter. Mr. Bead adds 
that he heard shooting that night. These were probably 
alarm guns, which may have been fired at Brown's Fort to 
alarm the people, or even by some of the farmers themselves. 
Although the location to be given presently of Brown's Fort 
places it near the mountains and about five miles distant 
from Mr. Bead's house, yet the reverberating sound of fire 
arms near the mountain, in a still night, could have been 
heard at that distance without much difficulty. During my 
tour of investigation I several times heard guns so fired 
which, although several miles off, seemed very loud and near; 
even the stroke of a woodchopper's axe, a mile distant, was 
very distinctly heard. I doubt, however, whether he could 
so readily have heard a musket if fired at Manada Fort. The 
next morning, he tells us, he went up with some hands, to 
ascertain the cause of the alarm and render assistance, if 
needed. Upon arrival he found Capt. Smith had sent up more 
men from the other fort. Please note the words which I have 
placed in italics. It has been a query as to which is meant 
by the "other fort." Let us not forget that Capt. Smith had 
his headquarters at Fort Swatara, where he probably was. 
Of course that same evening the Lieutenant, if he was any 
kind of an officer, sent notice to his Captain of what had oc- 
curred. The distance from Fort Swatara to Brown's Fort 
was about nine miles, and what more natural than that Capt' 
Smith should send some temporary reinforcements up from 
Fort Swatara, the other fort, where he was, not knowing but 


what the Indians were in force and that more troops would 
be needed. Finding that his kindly meant assistance was 
unnecessary Mr. Eead returned home, but the following morn- 
ing went back, when he found that the body of James Brown 
had been discovered. He was killed by the last shot which 
the Indians had fired, and had been scalped. 

Let us now consult the map given. 

I cannot think otherwise but that a glance at this location 
of Brown's Fort will show how thoroughly it corresponds and 
agrees with all records we have of it. It stood on the main 
road between Fort Swatara, Manada Fort and Manada Gap. 
Being merely a farm house, intended to be occupied only dur- 
ing harvest time, it was well situated for that purpose, being 
adjacent to quite a number of farms. As corroborating evi- 
dence of the correctness of my arguments I would say that 
diligent search reveals the fact that the Browns then lived in 
that locality. There were several families of that name, none 
of them apparentl}^ of any prominence, but all residing there- 
abouts. I found none of that name elsewhere. Within this 
century, some 80 years ago, a Sam'l Brown lived just south of 
Manada Furnace; Philip Brown lived about one-half mile 
north of Grantville on what is now the farm of Dan'l Ulrich, 
and Adam Brown, who died some 60 years ago, lived on the 
farm now owned by Amos Walmer. On the map will also be 
noticed an old stone house, standing about one mile north of 
Shellsville, which is the original building then occupied by 
John Crawford, (where it will be remembered Maj. James 
Burd stopped over night on Sunday, February 19, 1758, when 
on his tour of inspection), who instead of fleeing away from 
his enemies, as did others, took especial pleasure in hunting 
them up and despoiling them of their scalps. All the elderly 
people in the neighborhood agreed in saying that the building 
which I have marked, on the property of Mr. Jno. L. Ramler, 
was an Indian Fort. They did not know it by the name of 
Brown-s Fort, but called it the "Old Fort." This, however, 
is not to be wondered at, as Brown's Fort was never really 
its name, but merely the name of its occupant used by Mr. 
Eead the better to describe it in his letter. Mr. Ramler, who 
lives at the place, whilst but a young man himself, remembers 


very distinctly of his grandfather, who died four years ago at 
the age of eighty-three, telling him that this place was a fort, 
and that there was another fort at or near Manada Gap. 
Whilst, as yet, I have not had opportunity to trace the owner- 
ship of this particular property back beyond our century and 
so ascertain if, at the time named, it was owned by a Mr. 
Brown, yet I have no doubt of that fact, and the universal 
opinion of Mr. Kamler and other gentlemen there is that this 
is Brown's Fort. As a further proof of this they say posi- 
tively that no other fort (except Manada) existed any where 
about that locality. Part of the walls of the building are 
still standing, about six feet high, alongside the road. It 
was of stone, therefore well adapted for the purpose, and 
was pierced with five port holes. It is close to the foot of the 

As elswhere, many atrocities were committed by the savages 
in the vicinity of Manada Gap. 

In August, 1757, two miles below the Gap, as Thomas Mc- 
Guire's sera was bringing some cows out of a field, a little way 
from the house, he was pursued by two Indians and narrowly 
escaped. Leonard Long's son, while ploughing, was killed and 
scalped. On the other side of the fence, Leonard Miller's son 
was ploughing, who was made prisoner. Near Benjamin 
Clark's house, four miles from the mill, two savages surprised 
Isaac Williams' wife and the widow Williams, killed and 
scalped the former in sight of the house, she having run a 
little way after three balls had been shot through her body. 
The latter they carried away captive. (History of Penn., W. 
H. Egle, vol. ii, p. 865). 

The following interesting incident is related by Dr. Egle 
in his History of Dauphin County, p. 424 : 

^'The Barnetts and their immediate neighbors erected a 
block house* in proximity to Col. Green's Mill (Eobinson's, 
now Early's Mill on land of Timothy Green) on the Manada, for 
the better safety of their wives and children, while they cul- 
tivated their farms in groups, one or two standing as senti- 
nels. In the year 1757, there was at work on the farm of Mr. 
Barnett a small group, one of which was an estimable man 
named Mackey. News came with flying speed that their wives 

*Mr. N, W. Moyer, of Linglestown, has called the Editor's attention to an excellent 
photograph of this block house in the collection of the Dauphin Co. Historical Society. 


and children were all murdered at the block house by the 
Indians. Preparations were made immediately to repair to 
the scene of horror. While Mr. Barnett with all possible haste 
was getting ready his horse, he requested Mackey to examine 
his rifle to see that it was in order. Everything right they 
all mounted their horses, rifle in hand, and gallopped off, tak- 
ing a near way to the blockhouse. A party of Indians lying 
in ambush rose and fired at Mr. Barnett, who was foremost, 
and broke his right arm. His rifle dropped; an Indian 
snatched it up and shot Mr. Mackey through the heart. He 
fell dead at their feet, and one secured his scalp. Mr. Bar- 
nett's father, who was in the rear of his company, turned back, 
but was pursued by the Indians, and narrowly escaped with 
his life. In the meantime Mr. Barnett's noble and high spirited 
horse, which the Indians greatly wished to possess, carried 
him swiftly out of the enemy's reach, but, becoming weak and 
faint from the loss of blood, he fell to the ground and lay for 
a considerable time unable to rise. At length, by a great 
effort, he crept to a buckwheat field, where he concealed himself 
until the Indians had retired from the immediate vicinity, and 
then, raising a signal, he was soon perceived by a neighbor, 
who, after hesitating for some time for fear of the Indians, 
came to his relief. Surgical aid was procured, and his broken 
arm bound up, but the anxiety of his mind respecting his 
family was a heavy burden which agonized his soul, and not 
until the next day did he hear that they were safe, with the 
exception of his eldest son, then eight or nine years of age, 
whom the Indians had taken prisoner, together with a son 
of Mackey's about the same age. The savages on learning that 
one of their captives was a son of Mackey, whom they had 
just killed, compelled him to stretch his father's scalp, and this 
heart-rending, soul-sickening office he was obliged to perform in 
sight of the mangled body of his father. 

The Indians escaped with the two boys westward, and, for 
a time, Mackey's son carried his father's scalp, which he would 
often stroke with his little hand and say, ^^my father's pretty 

Mr. Barnett lay languishing on a sick bed, his case doubtful 
for a length of time, but, having a strong constitution, he, at 


last, through the blessing of God, revived, losing about four 
inches of a bone near the elbow of his right arm. 

But who can tell the intense feeling of bitterness which 
filled the mind and absorbed the thoughts of him and his 
tender, sensitive, companion, their beloved child traversing 
the wilderness, a prisoner with a savage people, exposed to 
cold and hunger, and subject to their wanton cruelty? Who 
can tell of their sleepless nights, the anxious days, prolonged 
through long, weary months and years; their fervent prayers, 
their bitter tears, and enfeebled health? 

The prospect of a treaty with the Indians, with the return 
of prisoners, at length brought a gleam of joy to the stricken 
hearts of these parents. Accordingly, Mr. Barnett left his 
family behind and set off with Col. Croghan and a body of five 
hundred "regulars" who were destined to Fort Pitt for that 
purpose. Their baggage and provisions conveyed on pack 
horses, they made their way over the mountains with the 
greatest difficulty. When they arrived at their place of desti- 
nation. Col. Croghan made strict inquiry concerning the fate 
of the little captives. After much fruitless search, he was 
informed that a squaw, who had lost a son, had adopted 
the son of Mr. Barnett and was very unwilling to part with 
him, and he, believing his father had been killed by the In- 
dians, had become reconciled to his fate, and was much at- 
tached to his Indian mother. 

Mr. Barnett remained with the troops for some time with- 
out obtaining or even seeing his son. Fears began to be enter- 
tained at Fort Pitt of starvation. Surrounded by multitudes 
of savages, there seemed little prospect of relief, and, to add 
to the despondency, a scouting party returned with the dis- 
tressing news that the expected provisions, which were on the 
way to their relief, were taken by the Indians. They almost 
despaired — five hundred men in a picket fort on the wild banks 
of the Allegheny river without provisions. The thought was 
dreadful. They became reduced to one milch cow each day, 
for five days, killed and divided among the five hundred. 
The three following days they had nothing. To their great 
joy on the evening of the third provisions arrived. Every 
sunken, pale, despairing countenance gathered brightness, but. 


owing to its imprudent use, which the officers could not pre- 
vent, many died. 

While the treaty was pending many were killed by the 
Indians, who were continually prowling around the fort. One 
day Mr. Barnett wished a drink of water from Grant's Spring 
(this spring is near Grant street, in the city of Pittsburgh, 
known to most of the older inhabitants) ; he took his "camp- 
kettle" and proceeded a few steps, when he suddenly thought 
the adventure might cost him his life, and turned back ; imme- 
diately he heard the report of a rifle, and, looking towards 
the spring, he saw the smoke of the same, — the unerring aim 
of an Indian had deprived a soldier of life. They bore away 
his scalp, and his body was deposited on the bank of the Alle- 

The treaty was concluded and ratified by the parties ; never- 
theless great caution was necessary on the part of the whites, 
knowing the treachery of many of their foes. 

Mr. Barnett was most unhappy. His hopes concerning his 
child had not been realized, and he had been absent from his 
family already too long. Soon after the conclusion of the 
treaty a guard, with pack horses, started to cross the moun- 
tains, and he gladly embraced the opportunity of a safe re- 
turn. After injunctions laid upon Col. Croghan to purchase, 
if possible, his son, he bade him, and his associates in hard- 
ships, farewell, and, after a toilsome journey, reached home 
and embraced, once more, his family, who were joyful at his 
return. But the vacancy occasioned by the absence of one 
of its members still remained. He told them that William was 
alive, soothed their grief, wiped away the tears from the cheeks 
of his wife, and expressed a prayerful hope that, through the 
interposition of a kind Providence, he would eventually be re- 
stored to them. 

Faithful to his promise. Col. Croghan used every endeavor 
to obtain him. At length, through the instrumentality of 
traders, he was successful. He was brought to Fort Pitt, and, 
for want of an opportunity to send him to his father, was re- 
tained under strict guard, so great was his inclination to re- 
turn to savage life. On one occasion he sprang down the 
bank of the Allegheny river, jumped into a canoe, and was 


midway in the stream before lie was observed. He was 
quickly pursued, but reached the opposite shore, raised the 
Indian whoop, and hid himself among the bushes. After 
several hours' pursuit he was retaken and brought back to 
the fort. Soon after, an opportunity offering, he was sent to 
Carlisle. His father, having business at that place, arrived 
after dark on the same day, and, without knowing, took lodg- 
ing at the same public house where his son was, and who had 
been some time in bed. As soon as he was aware of the fact 
he asked eagerly to see him. The landlord entreated him to 
let the boy rest till morning, as he was much wearied by travel- 
ing. To this the father would not assent, replying, "If a son 
of yours had been absent for three years could you rest under 
the same roof without seeing him?" The hardy host felt the 
appeal and led the way to the chamber. The sleeping boy was 
awakened and told that his father stood by his bed. He re- 
plied in broken English, ''No my father.'^ At this moment 
his father spoke, saying, ''William, my son, look at me; I am 
your father!" On hearing his voice and seeing his face he 
sprang from the bed, clasped him in his arms, and shouted, 
"My father ! My father is still alive !" All the spectators shed 
tears, the father wept like a child, while from his lips flowed 
thankful expressions of gratitude, to the Almighty disposer 
of all events, that his long lost child was again restored. 

Early the next day the father and son were on the road 
homewards, where they arrived on the second day in the dusk 
of the evening. The rattling of the wheels announced their 
approach; the mother and all the children came forth. She, 
whose frequent prayers had heretofore been addressed to the 
Throne of Divine Grace for the safety and return of her son, 
now trembled and was almost overcome as she beheld him led 
by his father and presented to her, the partner of her sor- 
rows. She caught him to her bosom and held him long in her 
embrace, while tears of joy flowed. His brothers and sisters 
clustered eagerly around and welcomed him with a kiss of 
affection. It was a scene of deep feeling not to be described, 
and known only to those who have been in similar circum- 
stances. The happy family, all once more beneath the parental 
roof, knelt down and united in thanksgiving to Almighty God 


for all His mercies to them in protecting and restoring to their 
arms a beloved and long absent child. 

The children scrutinized him with curiosity and amazement. 
Dressed in Indian costume, composed of a breech-cloth around 
the waist, with moccasins, and leggins, his hair about three 
inches long and standing erect, he presented a strange appear- 
ance. By degrees he laid aside the dress of the wilderness, 
which he greatly preferred, forgot the Indian language, and 
became reconciled to his native home. But the rude treatment 
which he received from the Indians impaired his constitution. 
They frequently broke holes in the ice on rivers and creeks 
and dipped him in to make him hardy, which his feeble system 
could not endure without injury. 

Kespecting the son of Mackey, he was given by the Indians 
to the French, passed into the hands of the English, and was 
taken to England, and came as a soldier in the British army 
to America at the time of the Eevolutionary war. He pro- 
cured a furlough from his officers and sought out his widowed 
mother, who was still living, and who had long mourned him 
as dead. She could not recognize him after the lapse of so 
many years. He stood before her, a robust, fine-looking man, 
in whom she could see no familiar traces of her lost boy. He 
called her "mother,'' and told her he was her son, which she 
did not believe. "If you are my son," she said, "you have a 
mark upon your knee that I will know." His knee was ex- 
posed to her view, and she instantly exclaimed, "My son in- 
deed !" Half frantic with joy, she threw her arms around his 
neck, and was clasped in those of her son. "Oh, my son," said 
she, "I thought you were dead, but God has preserved you and 
given me this happiness. Thanks, thanks to His name! 
Through long years I have mourned that sorrowful day which 
bereft me of my husband and child. I have wept in secret till 
grief has nearly consumed me, till my heart grew sick and my 
poor brain almost crazed by the remembrance. I have become 
old more through sorrow than years, but I have endeavored 
to ^kiss the rod' which chastised me. My afflictions have not 
been sent in vain, they have had their subduing and purifying 
effect; heaven became more attractive as earth became dark 
and desolate. But I now feel that I shall yet see earthly 











(owifr P.O.;) 

OLa Weio 
/IS' so YfiROSmoM ROAO 



happiness. Nothing in this world, my son, shall separate us 
but deaths' He never returned to the British army, but re- 
mained with his mother and contributed to her support in 
her declining years. 

There was another interesting meeting, that of Mackey with 
the son of Mr. Barnett. They recapitulated the scenes of 
hardship through which they passed while together with the 
Indians, which were indelibly impressed upon the memory of 
both. They presented a great contrast in appearance — Bar- 
nett a pale, delicate man, and Mackey the reverse. The former 
sank into an early grave, leaving a wife and daughter. The 
daughter married a Mr. Franks, who subsequently removed to 
the city of New York. 

Mr. Barnett, the elder, after experiencing a great sorrow in 
the loss of his wife, removed to Allegheny county, spending 
his remaining days with a widowed daughter. He died in 
November, 1808, aged eighty-two years, trusting in the merits 
of a Divine Providence. His eventful and checkered life was 
a life of faith, always praying for a sanctified use of his trials, 
which were many. His dust reposes in the little churchyard 
of Lebanon, Mifflin township, Allegheny county." 

Of all the places used for defense about Manada none seem 
to have played a prominent part in history, yet all served 
faithfully in the several parts assigned them. Only one of 
these, Manada Fort, belonged to the chain of forts established 
by the Government. If only such are to be marked with tab- 
lets, I would recommend that the stone intended for it be 
placed on the side of the public road, opposite its site. 


About twelve miles east of Manada Gap is the still more 
important passage through the Blue Mountains by which the 
Swatara creek makes its way to the fertile regions below. 
This gap, at what is called ^^The Hole in the Mountain," or 
more commonly "The Hole," is known as Swatara Gap or 


Toliliaio Gap. In its vicinity was located Fort Swatara or 
Smith's Fort. Through a very peculiar mode of expression 
on the part of Gov. Morris it has been also known, although 
incorrectly, as Fort Henry or Busse's Fort. This has occa- 
sioned several errors on the map published in 1875, by the 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, where Fort Swatara is lo- 
cated on the Swatara creek at a place where neither it nor any 
other fort ever stood, and that at Swatara Gap is named Fort 
Henry. Fort Swatara was, in reality, never called Fort Henry, 
but always Fort Swatara or occasionally Smith's Fort after 
the Captain who commanded it. Fort Henry was the Fort 
erected at Dietrich Six's near Millersburg in Berks county, and 
was always known as such, except when occasionally mentioned 
as Busse's Fort after its commanding officer. Whenever the 
name Fort Henry occurs in the Pennsylvania Archives it in- 
variably applies to the station in Berks county and never to 
that at Tolihaio Gap, even if the actual language used may 
seem otherwise. But more of that hereafter. 

The news of the Indian murders up the Susquehanna near 
Shamokin (Sunbury) spread fast. From an interesting letter 
written October 30, 1755, by Conrad Weiser to Governor 
Morris, (Col. Kec, vi, p. 656) we learn that he immediately 
alarmed the neighborhood. The farmers at once gathered 
together, armed with guns, swords, axes or pitchforks, what- 
ever they chanced to possess, until some two hundred had 
rendezvoused at Benjamin Spickers, near Stouchsburg, about 
six miles above Womelsdorf. Then Mr. Kurtz, the Lutheran 
minister who resided about a mile away, delivered an ex- 
hortation and prayer, after which Mr. Weiser divided the 
people into companies of thirty, each under the command of a 
Captain selected by themselves, and at once took up his march 
towards the Susquehanna, having first sent some fifty men 
^^to Tolkeo in order to possess themselves of the Capes or Nar- 
rows of Swahatawro, where we expected the euemy would 
come through, with a Letter to Mr. Parsons who happened to 
be at His Plantation. Their numbers increased rapidly on the 
way until they arrived at Squire Adam Read's on the Swatara 
creek, where they received intelligence of the surprise and 
slaughter of the settlers who, under the leadership of Cap't 










»-' "-"'-;,. ,0.,, >*<%>^:?^C> 

"^(ifi!«r "^''IIHF 



McKee, John Harris and others, had gone up the Susquehanna 
to Penn's creek to protect the people there and bury the dead. 
This seems to have dampened the ardor of the party somewhat, 
who wisely concluded they could afford more protection to 
their families by remaining home, and accordingly wended 
their way back, being hastened somewhat by the rumor, which 
reached them as they were returning, that five hundred Indians 
had already made their Way through Tolheo Gap and killed 
a number of people. 

The letter which Conrad Weiser speaks of having forwarded 
to Wm. Parsons was duly received by him, as we learn from 
a communication which on Octo. 31st, he sent Mr. Peters 
at Philadelphia. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 443). He tells how he 
met the advance guard of farmers, with their motley array 
of arms, and advised them to make a breatswork of trees at 
the Swatara Gap with their axes, promising to procure for 
them and send them a quantity of bread and ammunition. 
They got as far as the top of the mountain, fired their guns 
off in the air, alarming the whole neighborhood, and then 
came back again, firing the whole way to the great terror of 
the inhabitants. Soon came the news of the murder of Henry 
Hartman, just over the mountain. As Mr. Parsons, with a 
party, were on their way to bury the body, they were told of 
two more who had recently been killed and scalped, and of 
others who were missing. Having decently interred the dead 
they returned. The roads were filled with persons fleeing 
from their homes, and confusion reigned supreme. It was a 
terrible time, and, whilst we may smile at the actions of the 
settlers, owing chiefly to their inexperience, we must not 
forget that, at heart, they were brave and true as men could 
be. Amongst them all none possessed more bravery, judg- 
ment, or sterling qualities than did Conrad Weiser, a man 
whose deeds for his State and country have been so little 
known and appreciated. There was a person, however, who 
saw immediately that he was the one best able to cope with 
the emergency, and that was Governor Morris, who, on Oct. 
31, 1755, writes the following complimentary letter to Mr. 


''Sir: I have the pleasure of receiving your favor of the 
30th Instant, and of being thereby set right as to the Indians 
passing the mountains at Tolheo, which I am glad to find was 
a false alarm. I heartily commend your conduct and Zeal, 
and hope you will continue to act with the same Vigor and 
Caution that you have already done, and that you may have 
the greater Authority, I have appointed you a Colonel by a 
Commission herewith. 

I have not time to give you any Instructions with the Com- 
mission, but leave it to your Judgment and discretion, which 
I know are great, to do what is most for the safety of the 
people and service of the Crown. (Col. Eec, vi, p. 660). 

The necessity of occupying the position at Swatara Gap was 
very apparent, and measures were at once taken to that end. 
Now appears the misleading order of Governor Morris, or 
rather letter of his to Colonel Weiser referring to the order. 
On January 25, 1756, he says : 

''I have ordered Cap'n Christian Busse with a company of 
fifty men in the pay of this Province, to proceed to the Gap 
at Tolihaio, and there to erect a stoccado fort of the form and 
dimentions given him, and to take posts there and range the 
woods from that fort westwards towards Swehataro and 
eastwards towards a stoccado to be built by Cap. Morgan, 
about half way between the said fort and fort Lebanon. 

I have ordered Cap'n Jacob Morgan, who is posted at a fort 
in the forks of Schuylkill, called Fort Lebanon, to leave twenty 
men in that fort and proceed with the remaining thirty to 
some convenient place about half way between that fort and 

Fort at Tolihaio, and there to erect a stoccado of about 

40 foot square, where he is to leave 20 men under a Com- 
miss'd officer and to return to fort Lebanon which he is to 
make his headquarters, and from that Stoccado & from fort 
Lebanon, his men are to Range and scour the woods both 
eastward and westward." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 547). 

Again on Feb. 1, 1756, Gov. Morris writes to Gov. Din- 
widdle telling him that he has just recently returned from a 
month's tour through the back parts of the Province, w'here 
he had tried to encourage the people and had arranged to 
build a chain of forts. He says "those between Delaware & 


Susquehanna are to be ab't 10 or 12 miles asunder; ye most 
considerable of them is built at an important Pass thro' ye 
Kittahteny Hills, on our Northern Frontier, & I have called it 
Fort Henry." (Penn. Ar(^h., ii, p. 561). 

Once more on Feb. 2, the next day, he writes to Col. Wash- 
ington on the same subject, saying, "On the East side of the 
Susquehanna the Forts are about ten to twelve miles asunder 
among which the most Considerable are Fort Henry, at a 
pass through the mountains, called Tolihaio, Fort Lebanon, 
on the Forks of Schulkill, and Fort Allen, upon the West 
Branch of Delaware, where the Moravians had a town called 
Gnaden Hutten." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 565). In all these in- 
stances the Governor distinctly speaks of Fort Henry at Toli- 
haio, or Swatara Gap, and yet in no case does he literally mean 
what he says. Captain Busse was never stationed at Swatara 
Gap. He had command invaribly at Dietrich Six's place, the 
real Fort Henry, and he never was ordered by the Governor to 
proceed to Tolihaio Gap proper, as apparently stated. 

In the orders given Cap't Busse the Governor distinctly 
says he directed him to proceed to the Gap at Tolihaio, there 
erect a fort and range from it "westwards towards Swehataro," 
meaning the fort erected at Swatara Gap, and nothing else; 
also to range "eastward towards a stocca-do to be built by 
Capt. Morgan about half way between the said fort and fort 
Lebanon," which could have been only Fort Northkill. 

The truth of my statement is further evidenced by these 
orders to Capt. Jacob Morgan, just quoted. Capt. Morgan had 
command of Fort Lebanon above Port Clinton. The stockade 
which he was directed to build half way between Fort Leba- 
non and Fort Henry was unquestionably Fort Northkill, which 
was half way between Fort Lebanon and Fort Henry at Die- 
trich Six's, and could not have meant the fort at Dietrich 
Six's which is not half way between Fort Lebanon and Swatara 
Gap, but is half way between Fort Northkill and Swatara Gap. 

If any other proof were needed we might refer to Conrad 
Weiser's letter of July 11th, 1756, to Gov. Morris, giving the 
various assignments of the troops under him. He states in 


detail where the men of Cai)t. Smith are to be placed, all of 
them in and about Swatara Gap and the Manada Fort; then 
gives the men under Capt. Busse, all of whom are in and about 
Fort Henry, and after him Capt. Morgan's men at Fort North- 
kill and Fort Lebanon. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 696). 

As we follow the course of events recorded about these 
several forts, I feel assured that no doubt can remain as to the 
fact that the statements made by Governor Morris relative to 
Fort Henry at Tolihaio Gap, whilst possibly clear to him and 
those to whom he wrote, are certainly misleading to us. I be- 
lieve the explanation to be this. In writing or speaking of 
localities at that time it must certainly have been difficult to 
do so intelligently. There were no towns or villages along the 
mountain as now, and it was impossible to say that a fort was 
located near such a village or settlement, where none existed. 
It was unsatisfactory to speak of locations in connection with 
a private residence, although that was occasionally done when 
a person was prominent, like Adam Read. It only remained 
to refer to a position as being near a mountain gap. Now, no 
such gap exists between Swatara Gap and that at Port Clin- 
ton, so the Governor could not do otherwise than say "Fort 
Henry at Tolihaio Gap." More definite, and possibly personal 
instructions to the commanding officer could make clear to 
him the exact spot. Whatever may be the explanation, it was 
a wrong which it is high time to make right. The only name 
for the fort at Tolihaio Gap is Fort Swatara, and Fort Henry 
belongs at Dietrich Six's alone. Indeed even to this day the 
fort near Dietrich Six's in Berks county is there known as 
Fort Henry. After a personal investigation made some time 
ago by Hon. D. B. Brunner, of this city, he remarks, in 1881, 
"It might be supposed that there is a mistake in the name of 
this fort, but a number of the old men who were brought up in 
the vicinity of the fort told me that this (Fort Henry) was 
the name that was applied to it by their parents and grand- 
parents." (Brunner's Indians of Berks County, Penna., p. 23). 

Having therefore removed the discrepancy wjiich existed 
with regard to the names of these two forts, let us consider 
the history of the real fort at Swatara Gap, Fort Swatara. 



woQOl m 




OL0 BARfl 

To ^^ 







'SM/LEs mm:'^0i:b'4M Moms 


U¥ttM' ^^fKrmh 




The first and most prominent commander of Fort Swatara 
was Captain Frederick Smith, whose company came from 
Chester County. On Jany. 6, 1756, orders were sent him from 
Beading, as follows: 

"Captain Frederick Smith: 

You are, as soon as you possibly can, to Draft out of your 
company, fifty of the best men belonging to that Company, 
and with your Lieutenant and Ensign, march to the town of 
Eeading, where you will be mustered by James Kead, Esq., 
and from the time of such muster, you and the Company are 
to enter into the Government pay, according to the Establish- 
ment herewith given you. 

You are to engage your men for a certain time, not less than 
two months nor more than three months. 

You are to remain in the town of Eeading till you receive 
further orders, and while there, you are to post your men in 
such a manner as best to defend that town in case it should 
be attacked. 

You are to cause such of your men as are able to bring 
with them, each a gun and a Blanket, and either an axe or a 
grubbing hoe. 

You are to keep your men sober and in order, and at all 
times fit for duty, and to hold yourself & them in readiness to 
march from Heading, at an hour's warning." (Penn. Arch., ii, 
p. 544). 

It was soon seen, however, that the line of the Blue Range 
was the proper position to occupy, so, on Jan. 26th, the 
orders were sent Capt. Smith, already given in connection 
with the history of Manada Fort, to proceed as soon as pos- 
sible with the company under his command to the "gap at 
Tolehaio where Swehatara comes through the mountain, and 
in some convenient place there to erect a Fort, of the form 
and dimentions herewith given you, unless you shall Judge 
the Staccado, already erected there, conveniently placed, in 
which case you will take possession of it, and make such addi- 
tional works as you may think necessary to render it suf- 
ficiently strong and defenceable." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 552). 
He was also ordered, with a part of his company to occupy the 
Manada Gap. Owing to his lack of knowledge of the country. 


James Galbraith was directed to confer with and advise him. 
Capt. Adam Read, wjio had been previously ranging the moun- 
tains with his men was ordered to now dismiss them and turn 
over his arms and supplies to Capt. Smith, as was also Cap't 
Hederick who had been engaged in like work, all of which was 
done. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 551-553). Referring to these ar- 
rangements the Governor in his letter of same date to James 
Galbraith says, "I have ordered Oapt. Smith, with a Company 
from Chester County, to take post at the Gap at Swehatara, 
and to station a detachment of his men at Monaday, either in 
the Stockadoes already built there, or to erect such others as 
he may Judge best; but as he is a stranger to that part of the 
country, I must desire you will assist him with your advice, 
not only as to the most advantageous situations for the forts, 
in case it should be resolved to erect new ones, but in any 
thing else that the service may require, and let me know 
from time to time what is done in that quarter." (Penn. Arch., 
ii, p. 554). 

No further mention is made of the erection of the fort. As 
in the case of Manada Fort, it is very probable that the Stock- 
ade erected by the settlers during the latter part of 1755 was 
occupied by the soldiers. It was not an extensive work. In 
his letter to Col. Washington of Feb. 2, 1756, Gov. Morris says 
the principal forts East of the Susquehanna were Fort Henry, 
Fort Lebanon above Port Clinton and Fort Allen at Weissport 
"the others being only Block Houses." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 565) . 
We may presume, therefore, that it consisted of a single build- 
ing surrounded by a stockade. 

The mai^ murders committed by the savages and their 
stealthy approach made it necessary to distribute the soldiers 
around amongst various farm houses, especially during the 
harvest time now at hand. 

Col. Weiser held a consultation with Captains Smith, Busse 
and Morgan, in July, 1756, at Fort Henry the central point, 
and arranged for the distribution of the men. Eight men of 
Capt. Smith's company were to assist the people in the Hole 
(the place Vhere twice murder was committed) to gather in 
their harvest, and stay over night in the Moravian House; 
eight of his men to range westward of his fort under the hill, 


and if occasion require to be stationed in two parties to guard 
the reapers; sixteen men to be in and about the fort to help 
and protect the neighbors, but constantly ten out of the six- 
teen are to stay in the fort; nine men to remain constantly in 
Manada Fort, and twelve men to range east and west of that 
place. Although this arrangement did not leave men enough 
in the forts to relieve those on duty, and barely enough to 
defend the forts and send provisions to the various posts, yet 
it was not sufficient for the settlers, who, becoming enraged at 
the loss of family, friends and property, even threatened to go 
to the French for protection if the English Provincial Gov- 
ernment would not afford it. Some of the number, without 
giving their action due consideration, even seem to have com- 
plained to the Governor that Capt. Smith, who appears to 
have been a brave and faithful officer, was negligent in his 
duty. To the credit of the inhabitants generally it must be 
said that as soon as they learned this, the people about 
Swatara and the Hole wrote a letter to Col. Weiser in his 
favor, which the Colonel sent to Governor Morris by his son 
"Sammy" Weiser who might translate it to His Excellency, 
(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 696). 

It might be well to refer here to the Journal of the officer 
in command at Fort Northkill, which will be given in proper 
order, and in which frequent mention is made of Capt. Smith 
and his command. In the Penn'a Archives, Vol ii, p. 159, it 
is called "A Journal in 1754," another unfortunate error, 
probably made at some time in transcribing records, or of a 
typographical character, but which has caused confusion as 
to the date of erection of the sundry forts. 

The time when this Journal was written was unquestionably 
from June to August of 1757, and not 1754, as at the latter 
time the country thereabouts was at peace with the Indians, 
and we have just seen that Capt. Smith and his command 
were not mustered into the service of the government until 

Notwithstanding all efforts of the government and soldiers 
the enemy seemed to be successful in theiir work of destruc- 
tion. It was felt that, perhaps, the methods of defense were 
unequal to the occasion but how to remedy the matter was 


no easy conclusion to readh. In the early part of 1757, Major 
Burd suggest to the government the desirability of doing 
away entirely with all the forts and defenses except three, 
one to be Fort Lytleton in the extreme west, another Fort 
Augusta, in the centre, and a third to be erected at Easton, 
with Col. Weiser's battalion, numbering 500 men, in charge. 
At these forts were to be stationed 100 men only, the balance 
to be engaged in active operations against the savages, march- 
ing into their own country instead of waiting their attack 
at home. He suggested uniforming the troops in green hunt- 
ing shirts for better concealment. The plan was certainly wise 
and was acted upon, to a certain extent, with success, but it 
seemed impossible to carry it out in full, so the original forts 
were continued until gradually diminished in number. (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 99.) 

In 1757 was held the Treaty with the Indians at Easton 
where Conrad Weiser once more acted as the Agent of the 
Government, and interpreter for the Governor. On that oc- 
casion he arranged for a guard of 110 men, who were to come 
from sundry forts, amongst them Fort Swatara. (Penn. Arch., 
iii, p. 218.) On Feb. 5th, 1758, Adjutant Kern reports at Fort 
Swatara Lieut. Allen with 33 men, and its distance to Fort 
Hunter, on the Susquehanna, as 24 miles (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 
339). In another report under the same date, of the fort, he 
gives the name of Lieut. Marshloff, with 33 men, 28 provincial 
muskets, 23 private guns, 10 lbs. of powder, 10 lbs. of lead, 2| 
months of provisions, and 14 cartridges. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 
341.) On Feby. 9th, Jas. Young, Commissary of Musters, re- 
ports one company of 46 men on duty at the Fort on Swatara. 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 341.) James Burd, during his tour on 
inspection, visited Fort Swatara and has the following to say 
of it at this time : 

Sunday, Feby. 19th, 1758. 

^^This day at 11 A. M., march'd for Fort Swettarrow, got to 
Crawford's, 14 miles from Hunter's (Fort Hunter), here I stay 
all night, it rain'd hard. 

Had a number of applications from the country for protec- 
tion ♦ * * * 


20th, Monday. 

March'd this morning at 11 A. M., mett a Serg't & 12 men 
here, who march'd with me back to Swettarrow, this day it 
rain'd much, gott to Swettarrow Fort at 4 P. M., the roads 
extream bad, the soldiers march with great diflficulty, found 
Capfn Lieu't Allen & 38 men here per report; this is 11 miles 
from Crawford's. 

21st, Tuesday. 

Keviewed the Garrison this morning at 10 A. M., & found 
38 men, Vis't, 21 belonging to Cap't. Leu't Allen, & 17 de- 
tached from Capt'n Weiser's Co.; of Capt'n Allen's 13 men 
for 3 years, no province arms fitt for use, no kettles, nor 
blankets, 12 lb of poudder & 25 tb of lead, no poudder Horns, 
pouches, nor Cartouch boxes, no Tomahawks nor Province tools 
of any kind, 2 months provision. 

Some Soldiers Absent and others hyr'd in their place which 
has been a custom here, the soldiers under no Dissipline. 
Ordered a Serg't & 12 men to be always out upon the Scout 
from hence to Crawford's, keeping along the blue mountain, 
altering their routs, & a targett to be erected 6 inches thick, 
in order to practice the Soldiers in Shooting. 

This day 12 M. D., the Country people came here, I promise 
them to station an officer & 25 men at Kobertson's Mill, this 
mill is situate in the Centre between the Forts Swattarrow 
& Hunter, this gave the People Content. 

March'd at 1 P. M., for Fort Henry * * » » (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 353.) 

Upon his arrival there he ordered Ensign Craighead with 18 
men to march to Fort Swatara, there obtain 7 men from Capt. 
Allen and with his command proceed to Robinson's Mill, in 
accordance with his promise made the farmers. He also sent 
a Serg't., Corporal and 8 men to Squire Read's house, and in- 
structed Capt. Weiser, whose company was added to that of 
Capt. Busse at Fort Henry, to range from Fort Henry to Fort 
Northkill on the East aiid Fort Swatara on the West. From 
Fort Henry he proceeded to Conrad Weiser's house, from 
which place he ordered to Fort Swatara one cask of powder, 
and, later, from Reading, eleven blankets and 100 pounds of 


Here ends our record of Fort Swatara, whicli, with, the 
success of the British troops and consequent cessation of hos- 
tilities in that neighborhood, gradually passed out of exist- 
ence. There is nothing in what has been written to definitely 
fix its location. Fortunately memory and authentic tradition 
supplies this deficiency. In Eupp's History of Berks and 
Lebanon Counties, p. 364, the following appears: 

"Fort Smith, it is believed was in this part of the country 
(Lebanon County) within the limits of Union township. Not 
a few seem to think, each of them has the honor of having it 
perpetuated, that Fort Smith was on his farm. Some with 
Whom we have conversed, locate it at Union Forge. An in- 
telligent gentleman, Jacob Weidman, Esq., in a communication 
of Feb. 13, 1844, says: — 'The following facts I obtained from 
Mr. Daniel Musser, who is nearly seventy years old. He sug- 
gests that there may probably be an error to locate Fort 
Smith where Union Forge is. Mr. Musser's maternal grand- 
father, Peter Heydrich, who emigrated from Germany and 
located previous to 1738, about three-fourths of a mile due 
north from this place it appears, owned the place on which 
Fort Smith was erected. My informant says, he knows that 
a fort had been erected on his grandfather's farm, to which, 
in great emergencies, the neighbors fled for safety. 

The persons whom Mr. Musser remembers having heard 
of that resided in this township, as old settlers, were Mr. 
Noacre or Noecker, who was shot dead in his field while 
ploughing, on the farm now owned by John Zehring. He says 
that one Philip Maurer was shot dead while cradling oats on 
the farm now occupied by John Gross. Martin Hess, who es- 
caped unhurt, his house also had been a place of refuge — often 
half a dozen families would resort to Hess's house, which 
was about one mile southwest from Peter Heydrich's, and a 
half a mile west from this place. Mathias Boeshore (your 
mother's relative) was also an old settler, who, on one occa- 
sion retreated from the enemy, the Indians, towards Hess's. 
Just as he had got inside the house, seized his gun, and turned 
upon his pursuers, levelling his deadly weapon at them, and 
while in the act of drawing the trigger, he received a shot from 
an Indian, which wounded him but slightly. The bullet of 

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one savage's gun that part of Boeshore's rifle, to wliich 
the flint is attached; the ball glancing a little to one side, 
wounded him in the left side. Boeshore lived to be a very old 

The land on which this fort was erected, is now owned by 
widow Elizabeth Shuey. The old people are unanimous in 
locating the fort on Mrs. Shuey's farm, at that time the prop- 
erty of Peter Heydrich. None of them seems to know that 
the house on Mr. Weidman's place here was ever used as a 
fort. May it not, like the house of Mr. Hess, have been only a 
kind of blockhouse; as the house of Hess, as well as the one 
here, has also some apertures, or port holes, which were evi- 
dently used to fire out upon the enemy ? 

Of Peter Heydrich, it is related, that on a certain occasion, 
the Indians appeared in great numbers — and nearly all the 
neighbors being in their own houses — Heydrich gave imme- 
diate notice to the people to resort to the fort, and in the 
meantime, (having both fife and drum in the fort, and could 
beat and fife well), took the drum and fife, marched himself 
into the woods or thicket, now beating the drum then blowing 
the fife; then and again gave the word of command, loud and 
distinct, as if it had been given to a large force — though he 
was the only one to obey orders — by this Guerre de ruse, slight 
of war, he managed to keep the savages away, and collect his 
neighbors securely. HotTi hricht EisenJ' 

This interesting letter gives the true situation of the fort 
without doubt. I personally made a careful investigation of 
the entire neighborhood, with the result of only confirming 
what has just been said. The unanimous verdict of the 
people located Fort Swatara or Smith's Fort on the Shuey 
property, now the Behny Farm. The sketch given will be 
more explicit. 

Fort Swatara stood in what is now a field, at the end of the 
private farm road leading from the State road to the farm 
of Joseph Behny, distant from the former some 80 yards, and 
from Inwood Station, at Swatara Gap, three-fourths mile 
southwest. The farm was sold by Mrs. Shuey to Wm. Coppen- 
haver and by him to Jacob Behny, whose home is near that 
of Joseph. It is on the left side of the road, with a spring 


at the southwest corner of the fort, and a fine run of water 
directly south of it, flowing east and west. The ground is 
not elevated but comparatively level. ' A number of old resi- 
dents testified as to the correct situation of the fort. Amongst 
them Jacob Kohr, 72 years old, whose mother and grand- 
mother told him of it, the latter, Mrs. John Wallis, dying 50 
years ago, 87 years old. He stated that it was a log house, 
with port holes cut in it. As will be noticed the fort com- 
mands the roads to Harrisburg, Swatara Gap and the country 
below. I would recommend a monument at the entrance to 
the lane, on the State road. 

On the sketch is also located the Weidman house, at Lick- 
dale, formerly Union Forge, of which mention has been made, 
and which was used as a house of refuge. The original old 
mansion still stands, but its former appearance has been com- 
pletely changed by the weather boarding placed over it. It 
is beautifully surrrounded by a grove of trees, and stands 
about 50 yards back of the road. 

The numerous murders committed by the Indians made nec- 
essary the occupation by soldiers of various buildings besides 
the forts proper. The settlers themselves frequently used 
other houses, strongly built and centrally located, as places of 
refuge. Each of these had its own tale of terror and possible 
death. It is but right, wherever known, to fix their positions 
on the map and tell somewhat of their history, if in existence. 
In this vicinity, besides the Weidman house, stood the Hess 
house, the block house at Fredericksburg, and the Moravian 
Church at the same place. I give herewith a general sketch, 
embodying the position of each. Mr. Bead's house, on the 
Swatara Creek, might properly be included here also, but as 
its history was more intimately connected with that of the 
Manada Fort, I have noted it under that heading. 

Mention has been made heretofore of Hess's house, and I 
have marked its location above. Of its history I have learned 
nothing in especial, beyond the fact of its use as a place of 
refuge. It is said there is an excavation where the old house 
stood. It is about one mile from Fort Swatara and about 
the same distance from Lickdale. 

The site of the block house near Fredericksburg was 


















originally on the farm of John Groh, one of the first settlers 
of Bethel Township. It was sold to J. H. Lick and Joseph 
Gibber, the present owner. About four years ago it was torn 
down and the logs used in the new building which stands 
nearly if not quite on the site of the old house. At the time 
it was torn down it was noticed that the loop-holes were 
blackened with powder, showing the active use to which it 
had been put. It was on the road leading from Jonestown to 
Fredericksburg, about 300 yards from the latter place, and on 
the banks of a small stream. It was some 32 feet long, 16 
feet wide, and one story high, and had a garret, or cornice, 
extending out over the sides, with loop-holes in the floor to 
enable the inmates to shoot downwards. It was a house of 
refuge. This information was kindly furnished by Gideon 
Schnaterly, who is 68 years old, and received it from Eliza- 
beth Herman, who died 20 years ago at the age of 92, as well 
as from his father who died 15 years ago at the age of 80. 

The Moravian Church, which was used as a place of refuge 
and defense, was located 3 miles northwest from Fredericks- 
burg and 5 miles north from Jonestown, on the road leading 
from Fredericksburg to Lickdale, along the mountain. It is 
on the property of Josiah Shugar, about 50 yards north of the 
Fredericsburg road, and 200 yards northeast from the New 
Church. The Grave Yard, in which it is said a number of 
the persons murdered by the Indians lie buried, is about 200 
feet in the rear of the barn. The barn and house which now 
stand on the property were partly built of logs from the Old 
Church, which looked to be in an excellent state of preserva- 
tion. It was torn down fifteen or eighteen years ago. 

This information was obtained from Josiah Shugar living 
on the place, as well as from Mr. Gideon Schnaterly, men- 
tioned above. 

The Indian Forts were erected solely for the purpose of 
protecting the lives and property of those who lived near 
them. Had there been no murders there would have been 
no forts. I feel, therefore, that the history of the forts would 
be incomplete without reference at least to such of the terrible 
sufferings endured by the people in their neighborhood as are 
on record. The inhabitants of Lebanon ^and Berks Counties 


endured even more than their share of the terrible atrocities 
perpetrated by the savages. 

The town of Lebanon, being already densely settled, was 
resorted to, as a place of safety by hundreds of families who 
fled from the frontier settlements. Sixty families had, at one 
time, taken shelter in the house of John Light, which is still 
standing, and known among the people there as the ''Old 
Fort." Of it the Eev. P. 0. Croll of that city, has just written 
me "The John Light Forf' is a dilapidated stone structure, 
fast going to ruin, in the northwest section of our city, lately 
owned by one Gingering, but now in possession of the Brocks 
and Colemans. It was a house of refuge, having still the 
arched vault under the first floor (which is stone and earth) 
spacious enough to shelter comfortably one hundred people. 
It used to have a running spring in this cellar, which is dried 
up. The house was used as a Mennonite meeting house, and 
residence, and fort, and later distillery, and now furnishes 
shelter for goats and sparrows and a colored family." 

The house of Mr. George Gloninger was also a place of 
usual resort, also that of Mr. Ulrich near Annville, and the 
Zellers property near Newmanstown. Concerning these three 
buildings Rev. P. C. Croll, of Lebanon, has kindly furnished the 
following interesting information : 

"The Gloninger and Ulrich forts, so called, I judge have been 
simply strongly built houses of refuge. The former is now 
used, with some alterations, as a farm house. The latter was 
erected in 1751, a quarter of a mile north of Annville rail- 
road depot, by Mr. Ulrich, over which his descendants erected 
a stone dwelling, which has been recently remodelled, but the 
fort has remained intact. It is nothing but a mural dungeon, 
or vault, built into a hillside, with an air hole walled out. 
It has a stone with this inscription : 


(a free translation.) 
'Whene'er this door its hinge does turn, 
may thought of death to thee return.' 











Mr. CroU says of the Zeller house of refuge that it is 
an old and well preserved building built of solid masonry, and, 
in part, ornamented with carved stone door- jambs and head 
stones or lintels. It was erected in 1745 on land owned by 
Heinrich Zellers and now in possession of his eighth lineal 
descendant, Mr. Monroe P. Zellers. Even then it was built 
for protection and to guard against attack, the original win- 
dows being mere port holes, as ishown in some still pre- 
served. Many traditions still cluster about this old land 
mark. It is related of the original Mrs. Zellers that she super- 
intended the construction of the house, whilst her husband 
was out on an expedition against the Indians, and that her 
laborers were colored slaves. It is said, also, of this same 
Christine Zellers that one day, whilst alone in the fort, she 
saw three prowling savages approaching and heading for the 
small hole in the cellar shown on the picture attached. She 
quickly descended the cellar steps and stationed herself at 
this window with an uplifted ax. Presently the head of the 
first Indian protruded through the hole when she quickly 
brought down the weapon with an effective blow. Dragging 
the body in, she disguised her voice and, in Indian language, 
beckoned his companions to follow, which they did and were 
all dispatched in like manner. It was here that the com- 
munity found refuge during the Indian troubles, at which 
time it is said to have been attacked. 

In addition to these buildings, the Moravian Church, erected 
in 1750, a mile and a half east from Gloninger's was oc- 
cupied by refugees, the principal part of whom had fled from 
the Moravian settlements in Bethel township. (Loskiel p. 11, 
p. 180.) 

One John Spitler, son-in-law to Jacob Miley, was shot dead 
while fixing up a pair of bars, and his body cruelly mangled. 
Mrs. Miley escaped by taking refuge in the watch house at 
her father's, a few miles from Stumptown. This happened 
in May, 1757. Spitler's mangled corpse was interred in the 
grave yard at Hebron, near Lebanon. The following, touch- 
ing his murder, is found in the Eecords of the Hebron Church, 
"1757, May den 16, wurde Johannes Spitler, Jr., ohnweit von 
selnem Hause, an der Schwatara von moerderischen Indian- 




ern ueberfallen und ermordert. Er war im acht unddrei- 
sigsten Jahr seines Alters, und verwichenes Jahr im April, 
an der Sehwatara auf genommen. Seine uebelzugericht 
tette Leiche wurde den ITten May hieher gebracht, und bei 
einer grossen Menge Leute begleitet auf unsern hiesigen 
Gottesacker beerdigt." (Rupp, p. 310.) 

In Bethel township the people suffered greatly. In No- 
vember, 1755, twenty persons were killed and some children 
carried off. "Shocking," says the Secretary of the Province, 
"are the descriptions given by those who escaped of the horrid 
cruelties and indecencies, committed by the merciless savages, 
on the bodies of those unhappy wretches who fell into their 
hands, especially the women, without regard to age or sex, 
these far exceed those related of the most abandoned pirates.'' 

On June 8th, 1756, at "The Hole," Swatara Gap, they crept 
up, unobserved, behind the fence of Felix Wuench, shot him, 
as he was ploughing, through the breast — he cried lamentably 
and ran, but the Indians soon caught up to him, and, al- 
though he defended himself sometime with his whip, they cut 
his head and breast with their tomahawks and scalped him. 
His wife, hearing his cries and the report of two guns, ran out 
of the house, but was soon taken by the enemy who carried 
her with one of her own and two of her sister's children, away 
with them, after setting the house on fire and otherwise 
destroying property. 

A servant boy, who was at some distance, seeing this, ran 
to his neighbor, George Miess, who, though he had a lame leg, 
ran, with his son, directly after the Indians, raising at the 
same time a great noise, which so alarmed the Indians that 
they immediately ran off, leaving behind them a tub of butter 
and a side of bacon. Mr. Miess then went to the house, which 
was in flames, and threw down the fences in order to save the 
barn. The Indians had drunk all the brandy in the spring 
house, and took several gammons, a quantity of meal, some 
loaves of bread, and a great many other things with them. 
Had it not been for the courage of Mr. Miess they would have 
attacked another house. They shot one of the horses in the 
plough, and dropped a large French knife. (Penn. Gaz., June 
17, 1756.) 


















Shortly after committing the above murder the Indians 
killed a child of Lawrence Dippel's, a boy about four years 
old who was found cruelly murdered and scalped. Another 
lad, about six years old, was carried off. (Penn. Gaz., June 17, 

On June 26, they surprised and scalped two men, Franz 
Albert and Jacob Haendsche, also two lads, Frederick Weiser 
and John George Miess, who were ploughing in the field of one 
Fischer, and shot two horses. (Schwatarer Kirchen Buch.) 

In August, 1757, as John Winklebach's two sons, and 
Joseph Fischbach, a Provincial Soldier, went out about sun- 
rise to bring in the cows, they were fired upon by about fifteen 
Indians. The two lads were killed, one being scalped, the 
other reaching the house before he died. The soldier was 
wounded in the head. (Hist. Penn., Egle, ii, p. 865.) 

The Kev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg relates, in the Hal- 
lische Nachrichten, p. 1029, a touching incident, which has 
been frequently told, but is so ^'apropos'' to this record that it 
should not be omitted. It was of the widow of John Hartman 
who called at his house in February, 1765, who had been a 
member of one of Rev. Kurtz's congregations. She and her 
husband had emigrated to this country from Reutlingen, Wur- 
temberg, and settled on the frontiers of Lebanon County. 
The Indians fell upon them October 16th, 1755, killed her 
husband, one of the sons, and carried off two small daughters 
into captivity, whilst she and the other son were absent. On 
her return she found the home in ashes, and her family either 
dead or lost to her, whereupon she fled to the interior settle- 
ments at Tulpehocken and remained there. The sequel to 
this occurrence is exceedingly interesting. The two girls were 
taken away. It was never known what became of Barbara, 
the elder, but Regina, with another little girl two years old, 
were given to an old Indian woman, who treated them very 
harshly. In the absence of her son, who supplied them with 
food, she drove the children into the woods to gather herbs 
and roots to eat, and, when they failed to get enough, beat 
them cruelly. So they lived until Regina was about nineteen 
years old and the other girl eleven. Her mother was a good. 
Christian woman, and had taught her daughters their prayers, 


together with many texts from the Scriptures, and their beau- 
tiful German Hymns, much of which clung to her memory dur- 
ing all these years of captivity. At last, in the providence 
of God, Colonel Bouquet brought the Indians under subjection 
in 1764, and obliged them to give up their captives. More 
than four hundred of these unfortunate beings were gathered 
together at Carlisle, amongst them the two girls, and notices 
were sent all over the country for those who had lost friends 
and relatives, of that fact. Parents and husbands came, in 
some instances, hundreds of miles, in the hope of recovering 
those they had lost, the widow being one of the number. They 
were many joyful scenes, but more sad ones. So many 
changes had taken place, that, in many instances, recognition 
seemed impossible. This was the case with the widow. She 
went up and down the long line but, in the young women who 
stood before her, dressed in Indian costume, she failed to 
recognize the little girls she had lost. As she stood, gazing 
and weeping. Colonel Bouquet compassionately suggested that 
she do something which might recall the past to her children. 
She could think of nothing but a hymn which was formerly a 
favorite with the little ones : 

"Alone, yet not alone am I, 
Though in this solitude so drear; 
I feel my Saviour always nigh. 
He comes the very hour to cheer; 
I am with Him, and He with me. 
E'en here alone I cannot be." 

She commenced singing, in German, but had barely com- 
pleted two lines, when poor Kegina rushed from the crowd, 
began to sing also and threw her arms around her mother. 
They both wept for joy and the Colonel gave the daughter 
up to her mother. But the other girl had no parents, they 
having probably been murdered. She clung to Regina and 
begged to be taken home with her. Poor as was the widow 
she could not resist the appeal and the three departed to- 
gether. (Todd's Sabbath School Teacher.) 

In reply to a letter addressed to Mr. Sarge he wrote Mr. Rupp 


"In 1834, an uncle of mine purchased a farm, three miles 
from Fort Smith, the house, then on this farm, was evidently 
also a Fort — tradition has it so — there are besides — or were 
at least when I saw the house in '34 — marks of corroborating 
evidence to conclusively show this to have been the case. The 
port-holes, though plugged when 1 saw the house, and the 
scores of partial perforations made in the logs by bullets or 
balls, concur to sustain the truth of tradition. The house has, 
however, been since removed, and in its stead, another is 
erected. The workmen, in sinking the cellar deeper, discovered 
a subterranean cave, which, it is surmised, served as a place 
of concealment and greater security for their wives and little 
ones, should the fort be surprised by the Indians in the ab- 
sence of the men on their farms at work. 

Mr. Meiss, some years ago, informed my father that two of 
his brothers fell a victim to gratify the destructive propensity 
of the Indians. The two brothers were ploughing, and thus 
were surprised by the Indians. One of them was shot dead on 
the spot; the other, for his life, made for the house; having 
nearly reached his goal, and while in the act of leaping a 
fence, a ruthless Indian, hard on his heels, sunk his tomahawk 
in the head of his victim — he expired instantly." (Kupp., 
p. 321). 

In Hanover Township, on November 16, 1755, a party of 
Indians crossed the Susquehanna, commenced their bloody 
deeds, and murdered thirteen persons. 

In the autumn of 1756, a company of ten Indians came to 
the house of Noah Frederick, while ploughing, killed and 
scalped him, and carried away three children that were with 
him, the eldest but nine years old. 

A correspondent from this township of the Penna. Gazette, 
says, in its issue of May, 1757, that the house of Isaac Snevely 
was set on fire and entirely consumed, with eighteen horses 
and cows, and that, on May 17th, five men and a woman were 
killed and scalped about thirty miles from Lancaster. In an- 
other letter, dated August 11th, it is stated that, on Monday, 
the 8th, George Mauerer was killed and scalped whilst cutting 
oats in George Scheffer's field. "There is now," says the same 
writer, "such a severe sickness in these parts — the like has 


not been known — that many families can neither fight nor 
run away, which occasions great distress on the frontiers. 
Had it not been for forty men, which the province has in pay 
in this township, little of the harvest could have been saved, 
and as the time for which they have been engaged is nearly 
elapsed, the inhabitants hope the government will continue 
them in the service, else the consequences will be dreadful." 

On Monday, May 22, Barnabas Tolon was killed and scalped 
in Hanover Township, ''and we are,'' says the Editor of the 
Penn'a Gazette, "well informed that one hundred and twenty- 
three persons have been murdered and carried off from that 
part of Lancaster (Lebanon) County, by the Indians, since 
the war commenced and that lately three have been scalped 
and are yet living." 

On June 18th, 1758, Squire Bead writes to Edward Shippen 
that as Leonard Long was riding along the road, about a mile 
from Bead's house, he was killed and scalped. Mr. Bead, with 
some of his company, immediately went to the scene where 
they found the body lying in the road, bleeding, but could not 
track the Indians. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 426). 

The Indians continued to commit murders and depredations 
till December, 1763, when they were seen for the last time 
within the limits of Lebanon County. 

Londonderry Township being more towards the interior was 
not so much exposed to the depredations of the savages as 
those on the northern frontiers. Nevertheless, in the more 
sparsely settled parts they committed various murders. June 
19, 1757, nineteen persons were killed in a mill on the Quitapa- 
hilla Creek, and on the 9th of September, 1757, one boy and a 
girl were taken from Donegal township, a few miles south 
of Derry. (Loudon's Narratives, p. 200-208). About the same 
time, one Danner and his son Christian, a lad of twelve years, 
had gone into the Conewago hills to cut down trees; after 
felling one, and while the father was cutting a log, he was 
shot and scalped by an Indian, and Christian, the son, taken 
captive into Canada, where he remained until the close of the 
war when he made his escape. Another young lad, named 
Steger, was surprised by three Indians and taken captive 
whilst cutting hoop-poles, but, fortunately, after remaining 
with the Indians some months made his escape. 


Jacob and Henry Boman, brothers, both young men, having 
been taken captive were tied in a secluded thicket by the In- 
dians, who left, it is presumed, to go to the Conestoga Indians, 
intending to return, but, in the interim, a Mr. Shally, who was 
returning from Lancaster to Lebanon, chanced to pass, and, 
upon their calling him, released them, and they returned to 
their parents living near the present Palmyra. (Rupp, p. 334) . 

In Heidelberg Township nothing special occurred not com- 
mon to the other townships in the county. The Indians com- 
mitted several murders in the northern part, now Jackson. 
They carried off several children, one of whom, William Jack- 
son, was returned, who had been held captive for some time, 
in 1762, at Lancaster. (Rupp, p. 344). 

In Jackson Township, near Stouchsburg, was the house of 
Benjamin Spycker, where the farmers under Conrad Weiser, 
rendezvoused in 1755, as previously described. In this, as 
well as the other townships, were several block houses, or 
places of refuge, one of which stood on the farm owned by Mr. 
Breitenbach in 1844, a short distance east of Myerstown. 
Philip Breitenbach, the father of Mr. Breitenbach, purchased 
the tract of land, on which the block house stood, from Martin 
Noacker. Philip Breitenbach was wont, on many occasions 
of alarm, to take his drum and beat it on an eminence near 
his house, to collect the neighbors from work into the fort. 
On one occasion the Indians pursued them close to the house, 
when one of the inmates took up a gun and shot the Indian 
dead on the spot. (Rupp, p. 363). About one mile northeast 
from Millerstown the first public house, in this region of 
country, was kept by the grandfather of Adam Ulrich, the 
occupant in 1844. Mr. Ulrich also kept a small store and 
traded with the Indians, many of whom staid weeks with him. 
Adam Ulrich's father, when a boy, frequently played with 
the Indians in the thickets. It appears there was a burying 
ground near Ulrich's house. 

One evening, about 1756 or 57, Adam Ulrich's father and 
grandfather w^ere feeding their cattle when they were sur- 
prised by the Indians, fortunately escaped and eluded their 
pursuit, whereupon the Indians killed all the cattle by cutting 
out their tongues. (Rupp, p. 360). 


This completes the record of a few of the said occurrences 
in Lebanon County, and the vicinity of Fort Swatara, which 
have been preserved. It is not pleasant to pursue them and 
the reader is doubtless quite ready to pass from their con- 
sideration to that of 


Following the plan of defense which had been laid out, the 
next fort along the mountains was placed some fourteen miles 
to the East of Fort Swatara, and called Fort Henry. Some- 
times it is mentioned as Busse's Fort, from the name of its 
Commanding Officer. It was the most important fort between 
the Susquehanna and Lehigh Rivers, owing to the fact that it 
was about equally distant from each, and also because it was 
on the main road to Shamokin (Sunbury) and protected the 
most populous portion of the entire region. It lay near no 
village, nor any prominent stream from which it might derive 
a name or location; neither did it stand at any Gap in the 
mountain, of which none exists between Swatara Gap and 
that at Port Clinton, so that it could not be named or located 
with reference to any such pass. It did, however, practically 
command the connecting roads between the Swatara or Toli- 
haio Gap, and the numerous settlements near it, as the savages 
were obliged to come through the former to reach the latter. 
It is, therefore, occasionally referred to as "Fort Henry at 
Tolihaio," using the name ''Tolihaio" in a general sense to 
apply to the surrounding country, not necessarily right at Toli- 
haio or Swatara Gap itself. This subject has already been 
discussed and is only mentioned at this time to impress upon 
the reader the fact that no matter what may be said of Fort 
Henry, or under what conditions the name "Fort Henry" may 
be used it invariably refers to the one now under dis- 
cussion. It is also called, sometimes, the "Fort at Dietrich 
Six's" or "at Six's," because the murders which took place, at 
the outbreak of hostilities, near Dietrich Six's house, had 
much to do with the selection of its site on his farm. 

The history of Fort Henry is very appropriately introduced 
by this letter of Conrad Weiser written, Nov. 19th, 1755, to 
Governor Morris: 

•The site of this fort was marked by the Berks Co. Historical Society in 1915. Ed. 
























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"Honoured Sir: 

On my return from Philadelphia I met in the township of 
Amity, in Berks County, the first news of our cruel Enemy 
having invaded the Country this Side of the Blue Mountain, 
to witt. Bethel and Tulpenhacpn. I left the Papers as they 
were in the Mesengers Hands, and hasted to Beading, where 
the Alarm and Confusion was very great. I was obliged to 
stay that Night and part of the next Hay, to witt, the 17th of 
this Instant, and sot out for Heidleberg, where I arrived that 
Evening. Soon after, my sons Philip and Frederick arrived 
from the Persuit of the Indians, and gave me the following 
Eelation, to witt, that on Saturday last about 4 of the Clock, 
in the Afternoon, as some Men from Tulpenhacon were going 
to Hietrich Six's Place under the Hill on Shamokin Boad to 
be on the watch appointed there, they were fired upon by the 
Indians but none hurt nor killed. (Our People were but Six 
in Number, the rest being behind). Upon which our People 
ran towards the Watch-house which was about one-half a mile 
off, and the Indians persued them, and killed and Scalped 
several of them. A bold. Stout Indian came up with one 
Christopher Ury, who turned about and shot the Indian right 
through his Breast. The Indian dropt down Dead, but was 
dragged out of the way by his own Companions. (He was 
found next day and scalped by our People). The Indians 
devided themselves in two Parties. Some came this Way to 
meet the Best that was going to the Watch, and killed some 
of them, so that six of our men were killed that Day, and a 
few Wounded. The Mght following the Enemy attacked the 
House of Thos. Bower, on Swatara Creek. They came to the 
House in the Dark night, and one of them put his Fire-Arm 
through the window and shot a Shoemaker (that was at Work) 
dead upon the spot. The People being extreamly Surprised 
at this Sudden attack, defended themselves by firing out of the 
windows at the Indians. The Fire alarmed a neighbor who 
came with two or three more Men ; they fired by the way and 
made a great noise, scared the Indians away from Bower's 
House, after they had set fire to it, but by Thomas Bower's 
Deligence and Conduct was timely put out again. So Thos. 
Bower, with his Family, went off that Night to his Neihbour 


Daniel Schneider, who came to his assistance. By 8 of ye 
Clock Parties came up from Tupenhacon & Heidleberg. The 
first Party saw four Indians running off. They had some 
Prisoners whom they scalped immediately, three children lay 
scalped yet alive, one died since, the other two are like to do 
well. Another Party found a woman just expired, with a 
male Child on her side, both killed and Scalped. The Woman 
lay upon her Face, my son Frederick turned her about to see 
who she might have been and to his and his Comapions Sur- 
prize they found a Babe of about 14 Days old under her, raped 
up in a little Cushion, his nose quite flat, which was set right 
by Frederick, and life was yet in it, and recovered again. Our 
People came up with two Parties of Indians that Day, but 
they hardly got sight of them The Indians Ran off Imme- 
diately. Either our People did not care to fight them if they 
could avoid it, or (which is most likely) the Indians were 
alarmed first by the loud noise of our People coming, because 
no order was observed. Upon the whole, there is about 15 
killed of our People, Including Men, Women and Children, 
and the Enemy not beat but scared off. Several Houses and 
Barns are Burned; I have no true account how many. We 
are in a Dismal Situation, some of this Murder has been 
committed in Tulpenhacon Township. The People left their 
Plantation to Avithin 6 or 7 miles from my House [located at 
the present town of Womelsdorf] against another attack. 

Guns and Ammunition is very much wanted here, my Sons 
have been obliged to part with most of that, that was sent up 
for the use of the Indians. I pray your Honour will be 
pleased, if it lies in your Power, to send us up a Quantity upon 
any Condition. I must stand my Ground or my neighbours 
will all go away, and leave their Habitations to be destroyed 
by the Enemy or our own People. This is enough of such 
melancholy Account for this Time. I beg leave to Conclude, 
who am, 

Your very obedient, 


Heidleberg, in Berks 

County, November 19th, 1755. 
P. S. — T am creditably informed just now that one Wolf, a 
Single Man, killed an Indian the same Time when Ury killed 
the Other, but the Body is not found yet. The Poor Young 
Man since died of his Wound through his Belly. 

(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 503). 
To Governour Morris : 

This first and violent onslaught of the Indians took place, 
as has been noted, in the vicinity of Dietrich Six's House, 
located near what is now the village of Millersburg, in Be*thel 
Township, Berks County, where already a watch-tower seems 
to have been erected. 

The excitement amongst the settlers, caused by the depreda- 
tions of the Savages, was of such a character and brought 
about such action on their part, that it dare not be passed by 
in this recital, and will be here given before taking up further 
matters pertaining directly to Fort Henry. 

All was alarm and confusion. In the absence of Weiser 
who had just been commissioned a Colonel at Philadelphia, 
where he was doubtless arranging the plan of campaign with 
the Governor, the farmers arranged to meet again at Benja- 
min Spickers, near the present Stouchsburg, just as they did 
in the previous month of October at the time of the alarm at 
Swatara Gap, and there organize for defense. Just then Mr. 
Weiser returned, and the following letter written by him to 
the Governor, immediately after the one given above, and of 
the same date, well portrays what happened : 

May it please the Governor : 

That night after my Arrival from Philadelphia, Emanuel 
Carpenter and Simon Adam Kuhn, Esq'rs, came to my House, 
and lodged with me. They acquainted me that a meeting 
was appointed (of the People of Tulpenhacon & Heidleberg 
and adjacent places) in Tulpenhacon Township [then occupy- 
ing the whole northwestern part of Berks county. — Author], 
at Benjamin Spicker's early next morning. I made all the 


hast with the Indians I could, and gave them a Letter to Thos. 
MoKee, to furnish them with necessaries for their Journey. 
Scarujude had no Creature to ride on. I gave him one. Before 
I could get done with the Indians 3 or 4 Men came from Benja. 
Spickers to warn the Indians not to go that way, for the 
People ware so enraged against all the Indians, & would kill 
them without Distinction, I went with them; so did the 
Gentlemen before named. When we came near Benjamin 
Spicker's I saw about 400 or 500 men, and there was a loud 
noise, I rode before, and in riding along the Koad (and armed 
men on both Sides of the Koad) I heard some say, why must 
we be killed by the Indians and we not kill them! why are our 
Hands so tied? I got the Indians to the House with much 
adoe, where I treated them with a small Dram, and so parted 
in Love and Friendship. Capfn Diefenback undertook to con- 
duct them (with five other men) to Susquehannah. After this 
a sort of a Counsel of warr was held by the officers present, 
the before named and other Freeholders. It was agreed that 
150 men should be raised immediately to serve as outscouts, 
and as Guards at Certain Places under the Kittitany Hills for 
40 Days. That those so raised to have 2 Shillings a Day, & 2 
Pound of Bread, 2 Pounds of Beaff and a Jill of Kum, and 
Powder & Lead. (Arms they must find themselves). This 
Scheme was signed by a good many Freeholders and read to 
the People. They cried out that so much for an Indian Scalp 
they would have (be they Friends or Enemies), from the Gov- 
ernor. I told them I had no such Power from the Governor 
nor Assembly. They begun, some to Curse the Governor; 
some the Assembly; called me a Traitor of the Country who 
held with the Indians, and must have known this murder be- 
fore hand. I sat in the House by a Lowe window, some of 
my Friends came to pull me away from it, telling me some of 
the People threatened to shoot me. I offered to go out to the 
People and either Pasefy them or make the Kings Proclama- 
tion ; But those in the House with me would not let me go out. 
The cry was. The Land was betrayed and sold. The Comon 
People From Lancaster (now Lebanon) County were the worst. 
The wages they said was a Trifle and said some Body pocketed 
the Best, and they would resent it. Some Body had put it 


into their Head that I had it in my Power to give them as 
much as I pleased. I was in Danger of being Shot to Death. 
In the mean Time a great smoke arose under Tulpenhacon 
Mountain, with the news following, that the Indians had 
committed murder on mill Creek (a false alarm) and set fire 
to a Barn, most of the People Kan, and those that had Horses 
Rode ofi: without any Order or Regulation. I then took my 
Horse and went Home, where I intend to stay, and defend my 
own House as long as I can. There is no Doings with the 
People without a Law or Regulation by the Governor and 
Assembly. The people of Tulpenhacon all fled; till about 6 
or 7 miles from me some few remains. Another such attack 
will lay all the Country waste on the West side of Schuyl- 

I am, 

Your most obedient, 


(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 504). 

Although I can trace a quiet touch of sarcasm in Mr. 
Weiser's account of how the people fled upon the first rumor 
of danger, after their threats against him, yet the gravity of 
the situation cannot be questioned. It was so great, indeed, 
that some of the more prominent gentlemen present deemed 
it best to draw up a paper to be sent the Governor. On Novr. 
24th the following statement was forwarded : 

Honoured Sir: 

We the Subscribers hereof, being met together to think 
on means how to withstand our cruel Indian Enemy, thought 
fit to acquaint your Honour of the Miserable Condition the 
Back Inhabitants of these parts are in : 

(1st) Since the last cruel murder committed by the Enemy, 
most of the People of Tulpenhacon have left their Habitation ; 
Those in Heidelberg moves their Effects. Bethel Township 
is entirely deserted. 

(2d) There is no Order among the People, one cries one 
Thing, and another another Thing. They want to force us to 


make a Law, that they should have a Eeward for every Indian 
which they kill; They demanded such a Law of us, with their 
Guns Cocked; pointing it towards us. 

(3d. The People are so incensed, not only against our 
cruel Enemy the Indians, but also (we beg leave to inform 
your Honour) against the Governor and Assembly, that we 
are afeard they will go down in a Body to Philadelphia and 
comit the vilest Outrages. They say they will rather be hanged 
than to be butchered by the Indians, as some of their Neigh- 
bors have been lately, and the Poverty that some are in is 
very great. 

(4) Yesterday we sent out about Seventy men to the moun- 
tains to take Possession of several Houses, and to range the 
Woods along the mountain in Berks County, on the west Side 
of Schu^dkill. The same Number are sent to the back Parts 
of Lancaster (Lebanon) County, we Promised them two Shil- 
lings a Day, two Pounds of Bread, two Pound of Beaff, and a 
Jill of Kum a Day, and Ammunition, and that for forty Days, 
or till we shall receive your Honours Order. We persuaded 
ourselves Your Honour will not leave us in the Lurch; We 
must have done such a Thing or else leave our Habitation. 
If no worse; and all this would not do, we and others of the 
Freeholders have been Obliged to promise them a Reward of 
four Pistoles for every Enemy Indian man they should kill. 
Many Things more we could mention but we don't care to 
Trouble your Honour any Farther, do therefore conclude, and 
beg leave to Subscribe ourselves. 

Honoured Sir, 
your very humble Servants, 

P. S. — I cannot forbear to acquaint your Honor of a certain 

Circumstance of the late unhappy Affair: One Kobel, 

with his wife and eight children, the eldest about fourteen 
Years and the youngest fourteen Days, was flying before the 
Enemy, he carrying one, and his wife and a Boy another of 
the Children, when they were fired upon by two Indians very 


nigh, but hit only the Man upon his Breast, though not 
Dangerously. They, the Indians, then came with their Tom- 
hacks, knocked the woman down, but not dead. They in- 
tended to kill the Man, but his Gun (though out of order so 
that he could not fire) kept them off. The Woman recovered 
so farr, and seated herself upon a Stump, with her Babe in 
her Arms, and gave it Suck, and the Indians driving the chil- 
dren together, and spoke to them in High Dutch, be still we 
won't hurt you. Then they struck a Hatchet into the woman's 
Head, and she fell upon her Face with her Babe under her, 
and the Indian trod on her neck and tore off the scalp. The 
children then run; four of them were scalped, among which 
was a Girl of Eleven Years of Age, who related the whole 
Story; of the Scalped, two are alive and like to do well. The 
Kest of the Children ran into the Bushes and the Indians 
after them, but our People coming near to them, and hallowed 
and made noise ; The Indians Kan, and the Kest of the Children 
were saved. They ran within a Yard by a Woman that lay 
behind an Old Log, with two Children, there was about Seven 
or Eight of the Enemy. 

I am, 

Honoured Sir, 
your obedient, 
I intend to send a wagon down to Philadelphia for Blankets 
and other Necessaries for the People, on their Guard under 
the mountain, and I hope it will be then in your Honours 
Power to supply us. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 511). 

The Governor was fully aroused by these horrible atrocities 
and endeavored to perform his whole duty. The correspond- 
ence received, together with his recommendations, were at 
once laid before the Assembly as well as all the prominent 
officials of Philadelphia County. His success will better be 
shown by a letter written Nov. 17th (probably 27th) to Gen- 
eral Shirley: 

Dear Sir : Since writing the Letter herewith I have received 
Intelligence that the Indians have cross'd the Sasquehanna, 


and fallen upon the inhabitants to the Southward of the 
Mountains at and near a place called Tulpihockin, about sixty 
miles from hence, where they had, when the express came 
away, Burnt several houses and killed such of the inhabitants 
as could not escape from them. The settlement they are now 
destroying is one of the finest in this Province, the Lands are 
very Eich and well improved. My Assembly have now been 
sitting ever since the 3d Instant, but have done nothing for 
the defence of the Province, nor raised any supplys. The Bill 
they have proposed for that purpose, being of the same kind of 
one I had before refused to pass and which they know I have 
no power by my Commission to pass it. Such a Conduct while 
the Country is bleeding, seems to me to merit the severest 
censure. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 525). 

It was not until the latter part of the year that action was 
taken which finally enabled the Governor to organize a system 
of defense. Troops were regularly enlisted, officered and 
equipped. Stations for forts, from ten to twelve miles apart, 
were selected, and companies asigned to each, under the com- 
mand of Lt. Col. Conrad Weiser. It was at this time, simul- 
taneously with those of Fort Swatara and Fort Lebanon, that 
the history of Fort Henry really began. It was on Jan. 25, 
1756, that Captain Christian Busse, with a company of fifty 
Provincial Soldiers, was ordered ^'to proceed to the Gap at 
Tolihaio, and there to erect a Stoccado fort of the form and 
dimensions given him, and to take posts there, and range the 
woods from that fort westward towards Swehataro and east- 
wards towards a stoccado to be built by Capt. Morgan, about 
half way between the said fort and fort Lebanon." (Penn. 
Arch., ii, p. 547). 

On Feb. 1, 1756, Gov. Morris wrote to Gov. Dinwiddle ex- 
plaining his arrangements for a chain of forts, and says of 
those between the Susquehanna and Delaware ^'ye most con- 
siderable of them is built at an important Pass thro' ye Kit- 
tahteny Hills, on our Northern Frontier, & I have called it 
Fort Henry." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 561). 

In similar strain, on Feb. 2d, he writes to Col. Washington 
'-on the East side of the Susquehanna the Forts are about 
ten or twelve miles assunder among which the most consider- 


able are Fort Henry, at a pass through the mountains, called 
Tolihaio, Fort Lebanon, on the Forks of Schuylkill and Fort 
Allen * * *." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 565). 

These orders and letters have already been quoted under 
the head of Fort Swatara, and their misleading language com- 
mented upon, and therefore need no further attention here. 
They go to prove, however, the time when Fort Henry was 
erected to have been in February, 1756, because in the case 
of this important position the fort was of considerable size 
and built by the Government troops. The watch tower, origin- 
ally erected by the farmers was no longer used. Where this 
latter stood we do not know, but my opinion is, after a careful 
examination of the ground and talk with the people, that it 
was at the spot where the fort stood later, into which it was 
incorporated, or else torn down. 

It is to be regretted that we do not have a complete record 
of all the occurrences at Fort Henry. The first mention is 
that noted in the diary of an officer sent to Fort Northkill. 
wherein he states that on June 13, 1756 (incorrectly given as 
1754), he received orders from Col. Weiser to march from 
Beading. Upon his arrival at Col. Weiser's house he was di- 
rected to proceed with his detachment to Fort Henry, obtain 
from Capt. Busse 20 men and, with them, go to Fort Northkill 
and take charge of same, which was done. (Penn. Arch., ii, 
p. 159). As this Journal will be given in full later, it can be 
dispensed with at this time. 

Fort Henry seems to have been so well known and in such 
good condition as not to need as much attention as some of 
the other places. This is evidenced by the fact that when 
James Young, the Commissary General of Musters, made his 
tour of inspection in June of the same year he passed over the 
mountains after leaving Fort Northkill and went to Fort 
Lebanon, without stopping at Fort Henry. He says, June 
21st, "At 8 o'clock A. M., Capt. Busse, from Fort Henry, Came 
here (Fort Northkill) with 8 men on horse Back, he Expected 
to meet Col. Weiser here, in order to Proceed to the Several 
Forts on the Northern Frontier, but Col. Weiser wrote him 
that other Business Prevented him, and desired Cap't Busse 
to proceed with me, and return him an Acc't how he found the 


Forts, with the quantity of Ammunition and Stores in Each 
of which I was very Glad, as the Escort on horse back would 
Expedite our Journey very much, and be much safer." (Penn. 
Arch., ii, p. 676). Captain Christian Busse, the commander of 
Fort Henry here mentioned had been a doctor at Beading, Pa., 
before entering the military service. 

Notwithstanding the terrible depredations committed by 
the Indians, the officers in command of the troops made every 
effort to prevent them, and their unceasing vigilance is well 
worthy of commendation. 

The following report of Col. Weiser to Gov. Morris, made in 
July, 1756, bears witness to this statement : 

Honoured Sir: 

Immediately after my Beturn from Philadelphia, I sent 
Orders to the Captains Busse, Morgan and Smith, to meet me 
at Fort Henry, on the 9th of this Instant, to consult together 
over certain measures, how to oppose the Enemy of killing 
the People in Beaping and gathering in their Harvest. The 
Evening before, to witt, on the 8th of this Instant, Mr. Young 
arrived with your Honours Orders to me, I therefore sent out 
next morning about 5 o'clock for Fort Henry, in Company 
with Mr. Young, as farr as Benjamin Spyckers. I arrived at 
Fort Henry by 10 o'clock. Capt. Busse met me with an Es- 
cort of Eight men on Horse Back, about Six Miles on this 
Side of Fort Henry; about 12 o'clock the Captains Morgan 
and Smith arrived. I immediately made your Honours Orders 
known to them, and the following Deposition was made: That 
eight men of Capt. Smith's Company shall assist the People 
in the Hole (The place where twice Murder was committed) 
to gather in their harvest, and stay over Night in the Moravian 
House ; Eight of his men to range westward of his Fort under 
the Hill, and if occasion require to be stationed in two Parties 
to guard the Beapers ; Sixteen men are to be in and about the 
Fort to help and protect the neighbours, but constantly 10 
out of the Sixteen are to stay in the Fort; Mne men are to 
stay constantly in Manity Fort, and Six men to range East- 
ward from Manity towards Swataro, and Six men to range 
westward towards Susquehannah : Each Party so farr that 


they may reach their Fort again before Night. Cap't. Basse's 
Company stationed as follows : Ten men at Bernhard Tridels, 
next to the Moravians, Eight men at Casper Snebelies, Six 
men at Daniel Shue's or Peter Klop's. All these are west- 
ward of Fort Henry. Eastwards Capt. Busse is to Post four 
men at Jacob Stein's, Three men at Ulrich Spies, Six men at 
the widow Kendal, the Best, consisting of nineteen men, to 
remain in the Fort. Cap't. Morgan's Company, as follows: 
Six men to range from the little Fort on the Northkill, west- 
ward to the Emericks, and stay there if the People unite to 
work together in their Harvest, Six men to range Eastward 
on the same footing, Eight men to stay in that Fort, fifteen 
men are to stay in Fort Lebanon, Eight men to protect the 
People over the Hill in harvest Time, Ten men to range con- 
stantly Eastward or Westward, and if the People return to 
their Plantations thereabouts, to protect those first that join 
together to do their work. 

All the aforesaid men are posted as much in a Kange as was 
possible, and would sute the Settlement best. 

Your Honour will observe that there is not Men enough 
left in the Forts to change or relieve the Men on Duty, but 
scarce sufficient to keep the Forts, and send Provisions to the 
several Posts. 

I did propose to the Captains to make a draft of about 
twenty-five men out of the three Companies, and send them 
over the Hills to a certain Place on Kind Creek, to lie in 
Ambush there for the Enemy, for about Ten Days, but the 
large Frontier which they have to guard with their men, would 
not Admit of it at this Time, so I was therefore obliged to 
give over that Point. 

A great number of the Back Inhabitants came to the Fort 
that Day, and cried out for Guards. Their situation is indeed 
desperate. About forty men from Tulpenhacon have been 
out for their Protection, but they got soon tired, and rose 
Disputes and Quarrels in Order to get home again. 

I hear that the People over Susquehanna will have Pro- 
tection, cost what it will ; If they can't obtain it from the 
English, they will send to the French for it. I believe (by 
what I hear) that some on this Side of the River are of the 


same Oppinion, at least there is such a Mummbling among 
the back Inhabitants. 

I must mention to your Honour that when the People about 
Swatara and the Hole heard of Capt. Smith's being accused 
for neglect of Duty, they wrote a Letter to me in his Favour, 
which I send by Sammy Weiser, who can translate it if your 
Honour orders him to do it. I also send a Letter from Capt. 
Busse, which contains the Particulars of the last murder. I 
received it by the way coming from Philad'a, and stopt the 
Express (as it was only to me) in Order to save Changes. 

As I had no Clerk for some time, I wrote a General Letter 
yesterday to all the Commanding Officers Eastward from Fort 
Henry to Easton, with a Copy of your Honours Orders in- 
closed. I could not send every one a Copy, but ordered them 
to take it themselves and send it forward immediately. 

Just this moment my Son Sammy arrived from Fort Henry, 
and tells me that there had been an Engagement at Caghncka- 
cheeky, wherein twelve on our side were killed, and Six In- 
dians; That our People kept the Field and scalped the In- 
dians, and that the Indians ran off without any Scalp. As 
bad news as it is, I wish it may be true. 

I have at Present no more trouble your Honour with. But 

Your very obedient and 
humble Servant, 

Heidleberg, in the County of Berks, 
July the 11th, 1756. 
P. S. — I should have told your Honour that I keep a Ser- 
jeant, with nine private men of my Company at Fort Henry, 
under Capt. Busse, with that Proviso, that they shall stay in 
the fort and defend it when the Capts' men are on their sev- 
eral posts or Ranging; the Capt'n must keep a Ranging party 
all along; to-morrow another Serjeant marches from Reading 
with nine men, to relieve those of my Company that have been 
out two weeks. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 696). 


On Nov. 16tli, 1756, Sec'y Peters notifies Capt. Orndt, in 
accordance with the Governor's orders, ^'that measures are 
taking, as well at Shamokin (Sunbury) as in the Forts in 
Berks County, to pursue the Enemy Indians who have lately 
committed murders on the Inhabitants near Fort Henry, Fort 
Lebanon & Fort Franklin, of which the Governor desires our 
Friendly Indians may be advised least our Parties should meet 
w'th these Indians, mistake them for the Enemy & if so fall 
upon them." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 51). 

The reader will please notice that Fort Henry is mentioned 
as a "Fort in Berks County," whereas if it had been literally 
situated at Swatara Gap it would have been in Lancaster 
(Now Lebanon) County. 

The consultation of the Governor with Lord Loudoun, at 
Philad'a in April, 1757, has previously been referred to, and 
the fact mentioned that it was then decided to reduce the 
number of forts East of the Susquehanna to three, of which 
Fort Henry was one, and the only one, between the Susque- 
hanna and the Lehigh. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 119) . It was found 
impracticable, however, to carry this plan into immediate 

In June of that year Fort Henry was honored by a visit 
from Governor Denny, the successor of Governor Morris, 
under peculiar circumstances. The Government had been 
notified of ^ a threatened attack in force on Fort Augusta at 
Shamokin (Sunbury) just at a time when the terms of en- 
listment of the troops composing its garrison had expired. 
No persuasion could induce more than forty men to re-enlist. 
In the emergency it became necessary to order immediately 
three Companies from Col. Weiser's regiment to the scene of 
action, whilst the Governor, in person, hastened from Lan- 
caster into the County of Berks to encourage the raising of 
these one hundred and fifty-nine men. When he came there 
he found men enough but met with an unexpected obstacle. 
The country people, supported by their Magistrates and the 
leading men of the County, refused to serve under the Pro- 
vincial officers but insisted upon choosing their own. This, 
it seems, was put into their heads at Lancaster, by some of 
the Commissioners and Assembly men, who made them think 


it was a most valuable privilege. The Governor adds: — "In- 
tending to go to Fort Henry, the only Garrison my Time would 
allow me to visit, I desired Col. Weiser to acquaint the Leaders 
of these infatuated People, that I shou'd be glad they would 
come and speak with me at the Fort. Accordingly, above 
Fifty substantial Freeholders, well mounted and armed, joined 
the Escort, & attended me to Fort Henry, where I had an Op- 
portunity of undeceiving them. Convinced of their Error, they 
presented me a very respectful Address, assuring me of their 
Desire to have a proper Militia Law, and that they were de- 
termined under such a Law to serve and do their duty to their 
King and Country. Forty instantly were inlisted by Colonel 
Weiser out of this Neighborhood, and a Magistrate about 
twenty Miles off wrote me he had inlisted forty more." (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 194). 

We have already seen that there was a lack of soldiers for 
the proper protection of the people, and can readily imagine 
what a sad deficiency was caused by the withdrawal of three 
Companies to Fort Augusta. It is, therefore, a matter of no 
surprise to read the following letter written Octo. 1st, 1757, 
from Heading, by Col. Weiser to Gov. Denny: 

"I humbly intreat your Honour to pity our Cause and give 
orders that the men belonging to the first Battalion of Penn- 
sil'a Kegiment, now at Fort Augusta, may all return to their 
proper or former Stations. When this present trouble is over 
I will very gladly send a reinforcement again either to Fort 
Augusta or wherever your honour please is. It is certain that 
the enimy is numerous on our Frontiers, and the people are 
coming away very fast, so that the Forts are left to them- 
selves with the men in them, but no more neighbours about 
them." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 277). 

So urgent is the matter that Col. Weiser, three days later, 
writes to the Governor's Secretary, Mr. Peters : 

Sir: I did not think on the Post till he entered my doors, 
else I would have wrote particularly to the Governor, tho' I 
have been very Buisy with writing to the Commanding officers 
of the several forts under my Care. It is now Come so Farr 


that murder is Oomited AUmost every day; there never was 
such a Consternation among the people, they must now leave 
their houses again, with their Barns full of Grain; five Chil- 
dren have been carried off last Friday, some days before a 
sick man killed upon his bed, begged of the Enemy to shoot 
him through his heart which the Indian answered, I will, and 
did so. A girl, that had hid herself under a Bedsted, in the 
next room, heard all this, two more families were about that 
time destroyed. Inclosed is the Journal of last month of my 
Ensign at North Kill. Capt. Bussey lies dangerously sick at 
John Harris. I hear he is tired of everything; I have neither 
men nor a sufficient n^br of officers to defend the Country. 
If his Honour would be pleased to send me orders for to recall 
all the men belonging to my Battalion, from fort Augusta, he 
would justly bring upon him the blessing of the most high. 
I can not say no more. I think meselfe unhappy, to fly with 
my family in this time of danger I can't do. I must stay, if 
they all go. I am now preparing to go to fort Henry, where 
I shall meet some officers to consult with, what may be best 
to be done. I have ordered ten men, with the Governor's last 
orders, to fort Augusta; I shall overtake them this Evening 
at Fort Henry, and give them proper instruction. For God's 
sake, dear Sire, beg of the Governor, press it upon him in my 
behalf, and in behalf of this distrest inhabitants, to order my 
men back from fort Augusta. I will give my reason after- 
wards, that I am in the right. I Conclude with my humble 
respects to his Honour, 

And remain. Kind Sir, 
Your most humble Servant, 

Excuse my hurry. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 283). 

Who can fail to sympathize with Col. Weiser as he en- 
deavors to faithfully perform his duties surrounded by these 
many trials and difficulties. It is with much satisfaction, 
therefore, that we find, on Nov. 8th, orders sent by the Gov- 
ernor for Capt. Busse to return with his detachment to his 
former Post. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 38). 


In the midst of all his discouragements Col. Weiser does not 
forget his sick friend Capt. Busse, and snatches a moment's 
time from his multitudinous labors to pay him a visit at Fort 
Harris. Here, by chance, he was informed of the capture of 
a French deserter at Fort Henry. We will let him tell the 
incident in his own words, as we find them in a letter of Octo. 
16, 1757, to Gov. Denny, written from Reading. He says, 

Honoured Sir: 

According to my last I went up to John Harris's Ferry to 
visit Captain Busse, where I found him in a very poor Con- 
dition, but he told me he was much better than he had been 
the day before; and after about two Hours Conversation, he 
went to Hunter's Fort by Water, though against my Advice, 
as he had Lieut. Philip Marsloff with him, and Ensign Kern 
by my Order (not knowing that Marsloff was there) was come 
up to wait on the Captain, &c. Kern had but an half hour 
to stay when he was ordered by me to follow the Captain by 
Land, with an Escort of four men of the Battalion under my 
Command. Before he sat off he inform'd me that on the 12th 
Instant, a French Deserter or Spy came down the Hill near 
Fort Henry, and made towards Deitrich Six's house, which 
the Centry of the Fort observing, acquainted the Commanding 
Officer of the Fort thereof, who sent an Officer and two Sol- 
diers to seize and bring him into the Fort, which was ac- 
cordingly done. I order'd, by Express, my Son Samuel, who 
Commanded at the Fort on Sweetara, to march with a ranging 
party with all possible speed and care and take the said 
prisoner and convey him safe down to my House in Heidelberg, 
where he arrived safe with the prisoner about noon yesterday. 
I examined the Prisoner by such an Interpreter as I could get, 
but thought fit to bring him down hither to have a more full 
Examination by the Assistance of Capt'n Oswald and Mr. 
James Read, and accordingly came here with him last night. 
The paper enclosed and a Fusee were found in his Possession. 
The Examination I left to Captain Oswald and Mr. Read, who 
will transmit a fair Copy to your Honour. As I've no Men 
to Spare in this dangerous Time, and Capt. Oswald hath been 
so kind as to offer a Party of the Regulars under his Com- 


mand here to guard the Prisoner to Philadelphia, I have ac- 
cepted of his Offer, and accordingly put him into Custody of 
the Guards appointed by the Captain, which I hope will not 
be disagreeable to your Honour. 

I am, 
Honoured Sir, 
Your most Humble Servant, 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 293). CONRAD WEISER. 

We have then recorded the examination of t]je prisoner at 
Reading, and later his more complete examination at Phila- 
delphia, both of which abound in interesting statements, but 
have no proper place in this history and must therefore be 
omitted. Suffice it to say, briefly, that his name was Michael 
La Chauviguerie Jun, and his age seventeen. His father was 
a Lieutenant of French Marines and Commandant of Fort 
Machault, just building, which was seventy-two leagues up 
the Allegheny River from Fort Du Quesne (Pittsburgh) and 
near the Lakes. The son had been given command of a party 
of thirty-three Indians, principally Delawares, who were sent 
out on a maruading expedition. As they neared the Blue 
Mountains he tells the sad tale of Prisoners taken and num- 
erous deserted homesteads. By accident one day he dropped 
a piece of bread and whilst looking for it his party of Indians 
became separated from him and he found he was lost. After 
wandering around for seven days he was forced to surrender 
at Fort Henry to save himself from starvation. 

In this connection, I desire to call attention to the fact that 
Fort Henry is mentioned as being in close proximity to Diet- 
rich Six's house, which fully corroborates the position which 
will be given presently. 

James Burd, in the Journal of his inspection of various 
forts, has this to say of Fort Henry : 

Tuesday, Feby. 21st, 1758. 
March'd at 1 P. M., for Fort Henry (from Fort Swatara) at 
3 P. M., gott to Soudder's 7 miles, left Lieut. Broadhead to 
march the party 4 miles to Sneevlys there to hault all night 


& to march to Fort Henry in the morning, 6 miles, the roads 
being very bad, march'd myself with Adjutant Thorn and 8 
men on horse-back arrived at Fort Henry at 5 P. M., found 
here Capt'n Weiser, Adjutant Kern & the Ensigns Biddle & 
Craighead, doing duty with 90 men. Ordered a Eeview of the 
Garrison to-morrow at 9 A. M. 

22d, Wednesday. 

Had a Eeview this morning at 9 A. M., found 90 soldiers 
under good Command, & fine fellows. Examined the stores, 
& am informed by the Comd'g Officer there is 2 mo's more 
ab't 6 miles from here at Jacob Myers Mill; no poudder, 224 
lbs. of lead, no flints, ab't 80 Province Arms belonging to these 
two Comp'ys, good for nothing. 

Ordered Ensign Craighead with 18 men of this Garrison 
to march to-morrow morning to Fort Swetarrow, & there to 
apply to Capt'n Allen and to Keceive from him 7 men, & with 
this party of 25 men to march from thence to Robertson's 
mill, there to take post to order from thence a Serg't Corporall 
& 8 men to the house of Adam Read, Esq'r, & to Employ his 
whole party in Continual ranging to Cover these Fronteers; 
This I found myself under a Necessity of doing otherwise 
several Townships here would be Evacuated in a few days. 

Ordered Ensigne Heller to march back my Escort to Hun- 
ter's Fort to-morrow morning, & Capt'n Weiser to Continue 
to range from this to Fort Northkill & Swetarrow, to Employ 
all his Jugm't to waylay the Enemy & Protect the Inhabitants. 
This is a very good Stocliaded Fort, & everything in good 
order, & duty done pritty well. 

March'd to-day at 11 A. M., & arrived at Conrad Weiser's, 
Esq'r., at 3 P. M., 14 miles, where I found 4 Quarter Casks of 
poudder belonging to the Province, 3 of which I ordered to 
Forty Henry, and 1 to Fort Swetarrow, no lead here, very bad 
roads & cold weather, stayed all night. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 

Before considering the matter of location I submit the fol- 
lowing letter from Captain Busse to Colonel Weiser, written 
at Fort Henry on June 19th, 1758, which has an important 
bearing on the subject: 


Dear Sir : At noon I received news that this morning about 
8 o'Clo'k, the Indians took and carried away the wife of John 
Frantz, with 3 children, 6 miles from here, deep in the Coun- 
try. I sent momently Lieut. Johnson with a party of 9 men 
to go along the Mountains, and to Stay at the Hole to inter- 
cept them. Them being gone, a Farmer was following on 
Horseback, came back and told that he Saw 3 Indians near the 
Fort at the place of Six. Being not able to Spare more men, 
as just a Detachment was out to meet the wagon with pro- 
vision, I sent Serg't Christ Mowrer only whit two men to look 
for their Tracts. It is a cruel fate where wee are brought to 
that, wee shall fight without Powder or Led. If some is there, 
be pleased to send it to us. I hope you will be so kind as 
to give Capt. Blakwood Notice hereof, whit my Compliments. 

I am. Dear Sir, 
Your very Humble Servant, 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 425). CHRISTIAN BUSSE. 

In this letter Capt. Busse speaks of the Frantz family, who 
lived 6 miles from Fort Henry. I have just recently talked 
with Mr. Wm. Frantz, 73 years old, residing at Millersburg, 
about this very event in his family, he being a descendant 
of those mentioned. He informed me that the event hap- 
pened at their home which was on the Little Swatara Creek, 
some two miles north from Millersburg, which would make 
it six miles from Fort Henry if located at Dietrich Six's house. 
Indeed Capt. Bussee, himself, in the letter, refers to the Fort 
as being at Six's place. But I especially desire to call atten- 
tion to the fact that a detail was sent to the Hole (Swatara 
Gap) to intercept the Indians as they retreated and possibly 
rescue the captives. This clearly shows that the Swatara 
Gap was looked upon and used as the ordinary passage way 
through the mountains to the whole locality in said neighbor- 
hood, and that it would be but natural, as I have already 
argued, to speak of Fort Henry as at Tolihaio Gap although 
actually fourteen miles distant from it. 


It only remains to say, what the reader has already dis- 
covered, that Fort Henry was located near the home of Diet- 
rich Six. This property was on the old Shamokin (Sunbury) 
Eoad, three miles north of Millersburg, in Bethel Township, 
Berks County. Dietrich Six owned the farm during the French 
and Indian War. It was purchased from him by Frantz 
Umbenhauer, born Oct. 23, 1751, died Mar. 31, 1812, and 
buried in the Union Church Yard near Millersburg, who came 
to that locality when a young man and settled there. From 
him it descended to his son Peter Umbenhauer, who always 
kept the place intact and sacred, for the benefit of the many 
visitors who came to see it. It afterwards came into the 
possession of Mr. George Pott, and is now owned by James 
Batz. It was my privilege to interview Mrs. Elizabeth Ditzler, 
a bright, active old lady 83 years old, who was the daughter of 
Peter Umbenhauer and still lives with her married daughter 
but a short distance from the site occupied by the fort. She 
has frequently seen it, but even when she was 15 or 16 years 
old it was in ruins, and not much more than a heap of stone 
remained. Her father, who died at the place some 60 years 
ago when 63 years old, told her all about the fort and its exact 
location, which agrees precisely with what is recorded, and 
is corroborated by the testimony of many other reliable au- 

The following map will now give a more clear insight into 
the matter: 

The fort stood in what is now a cultivated field, about 25 
yards northeast one-fourth east from the shed with stone base 
standing by the roadside. It was on slightly elevated ground 
and commands a splendid view of the approaches from the 
Blue Mountains and of the valley to the West. At the foot 
of the elevated ground runs a little stream of water, originating 
at the Spring back of the fort. Mr. Batz still ploughs up 
stone belonging to the fort, as well as pieces of common clay 
pipe stems, and finds chips of flint at the Spring, all, un- 
doubtedly pertaining to the garrison. This spring, which is 
the origin of the stream, is in a gully about 175 yards from 
the shed, and must therefore have been comparatively near 
the fort. 


We have already discussed and settled the time when this 
fort was built. With regard to the fort itself unfortunately 
we know nothing definite, except that it was a stockade. In 
our generaion it has been merely a heap of ruins, but we 
are assured from them that it was more pretentious in size 
than usual. This we would have reason to expect because of its 
importance, and from the number of soldiers in the garrison. 
I have been unable to get any description of it from any one, 
except from Mr. Daniel Hostetter, of Springsville, who is some 
60 years old. Even this is of a rather vague character. He 
says most of the stone belonging to the fort was taken by the 
farmers for building purposes, but when he first saw it the 
marks of the building were plain, and that even fourteen 
years ago about a quarter of the wall was still there. To him 
it seemed to be shaped like a half moon, and in the centre 
was a house which evidently had a cellar underneath. The 
walls of the fort were about three feet thick and about two 
hundred long, and Mr. Hostetter adds that he never saw such 
a place in his life and doubts if there is any other like it in 
the State. 

About one mile east of the fort rises abruptly from the 
plain Round Top Mountain. So abruptly does it rise that 
it is almost impossible to scale the side facing the fort. Dr. 
W. C. Kline, of Myerstown, who has at various times visited 
this locality and who twenty-five years ago also saw traces of 
the walls of Fort Henry, at one time made an effort to reach 
the summit of Round Top. With much difficulty he clambered 
up its steep face until he reached a point about half way from 
the top where he was surprised to find what seemed undoubt- 
edly an artificial plateau, about 40x150 feet formed by spread- 
ing out stones taken from the hill behind, thus making a wall 
in the rear. The stones seem to have been broken to a small 
size and were entirely different from the rock comprising the 
other part of the mountain over which he had climbed. They 
were much harder and made somewhat of a ringing sound 
when knocked together. The Doctor was entirely unable to 
give any explanation of the fact, nor did the farmers living 
there know of it. I here mention it as a matter, certainly of 
interest and possibly of value. It has suggested itself to me 


that the Indians, who occupied that part of the country be- 
fore the advent of the white man, there obtained the stones 
from which to make their axes, arrowheads, etc., as the more 
prevalent stone in that neighborhood is too soft for such pur- 
poses. I have also thought that the soldiers of the garrison 
may have obtained some of their flints from this place, but as 
they would have needed only a very few compared to the large 
number of stones seen, I am rather inclined to my former 
opinion. There may also be some connection between this 
theory and the numerous flint chips even now found at the 
spring in the gully back of the fort, too many to have been 
made by the soldiers. Does it not indicate an Indian village 
or villages, in the distant past at that point? 

That Fort Henry's position should be perpetuated by a 
monument hardly admits of controversy. In my judgment the 
spot on which to place it would be on the site of the public 
road near the shed having a stone base. 

At the time of the conference with the Indians at Easton 
in July, 1757, Col. Weiser's guard of soldiers from Forts 
Swatara, Henry, Lebanon and from Allemangle, were under 
the command of Capt'n Busse. (Penna. Arch., iii, p. 218). On 
Feb. 5, 1758, Adjutant Kern reports Captains Busse and 
Weiser at Fort Henry, with 89 men in their two companies, 
and its distance from Fort Swatara 14 miles. In his detailed 
report of same date he specifies, besides the two Captains, 
Lt. & Adjt. Kern, Ensigns Beedle & Craighead, 92 Provincial 
arms on hand, 26 men with their own arms, 12 lbs. of powder, 
no lead, 2 months provisions, 14 cartridges, and the Messrs. 
Weisers as Commissaries for the Station. (Penn. Arch., iii, 
p. 339-340). 

Here comes to an end the recorded history of Fort Henry, 
but not its actual existence, as in July, 1763, we find a letter 
of instructions from Governor Hamilton to Col. Armstrong, 
in which he says that he has appointed one hundred men for 
each of the three counties of Lancaster (Lebanon), Berks and 
Northampton, to be reinforced from other points as occasion 
may demand. (Penn. Arch., iv, p. 115). We have every right 
to presume that Fort Henry, the most important of the chain of 


forts, was then occupied. During the interim, however, be- 
tween 1759, when the Indians had retired with their French 
ally, and 1763 which signalized the new outbreak under Pon- 
tiac, comparative peace existed and we need not be surprised 
at a lack of stirring events on record. Prior to 1759 there 
certainly was no laclf of such events in the neighborhood. 
Many of the merciless acts committed by the savages in the 
general locality of Fort Henry have been given under Fort 
Swatara. Others in it» more immediate vicinity still remain 
to be told. 

In the Penn'a Gazette of Dec. 18, 1755, it says, "We hear from 
Beading, in Berks County, that on Sunday last, about nine 
o'clock at night, the guard belonging to that County, about 
seventeen miles from that town, were attacked by some In- 
dians, with whom they exchanged several fires, and put them 
to flight; that none of the guard were wounded; though one 
of them had the skirt of his jacket shot away, and that they 
supposed some of the Indians were badly burnt, as they heard 
a crying among them as they ran off; but that the guard hav- 
ing spent their ammunition, could not pursue them." 

On March 7, 1756, Andrew Lycan, who lived over the moun- 
tain, 25 miles below Sunbury, at or near the Wiskinisco 
Creek, was attacked by Indians. He had with him a son, John 
Lycan, a negro man, a boy, and two of his neighbors, John 
Bevolt and Ludwig Shut. As Andrew Lycan and John Bevolt 
went out early that morning to feed the animals, two guns 
were fired at them, but they escaped unhurt, ran to the house 
and prepared for an engagement. The Indians then got under 
cover of a log house near the dwelling, whereupon John 
Lycan, Bevolt and Shut crept out to get a shot at them, but 
were fired at by the Indians instead, and all wounded, Shut 
being hit in the abdomen. Andrew Lycan then noticed one 
of the Indians and two white men run out of the log house 
and get a little distance from it. Upon this the inmates of 
the house endeavored to escape but were immediately pur- 
sued by the Indians to the number of sixteen or more. John 
Lycan and Bevolt being hadly wounded, were able to do noth- 
ing, and so went off with the negro, leaving Andrew Lycan. 
Shut and the boy engaged with the enemy, who pursued so 


closely that one of them came up with the boy, and was about 
to strike his tomahawk into him when Shut turned and shot 
him dead. At the same time Lycan shot another, whom he is 
positive was killed, saw a third fall and thinks others were 
wounded by them. Being now bpth badly wounded and al- 
most exhausted, they sat down on a log to rest themselves, 
whilst the Indians stood a little way off looking at them. 

One of the Indians killed was Bill Davis, and two others 
they knew to be Tom Hickman and Tom Hayes, all Delawares 
and well known in those parts. All of the farmers escaped 
through Swatara Gap into Hanover Township, and recovered 
under the care of a doctor, but lost all they were worth. (Penn. 
Gazette, March 18, 1756). 

The Editor of the Gazette, of June 24, says: ^^we have ad- 
vice from Fort Henry, in Berks County (Bethel Township) 
that two children of one Lawrence Dieppel, who lives about 
two miles from said fort, are missing, and thought to be car- 
ried off by the Indians, as one of their hats has been found, 
and several Indian tracks seen." In relation to this state- 
ment the Editor adds on July 1st, "we learn that one of 
Lawrence Dieppel's children, mentioned in our last to be car- 
ried off, has been found cruelly murdered and scalped, a boy 
about four years, and that the other, also a boy, eight years 
old, was still missing." 

On Nov. 19, 1756, Col. Weiser writes to Gov. Denny that the 
Indians had made another incursion into Berks County, killed 
and scalped two married women and a lad fourteen years of 
age, wounded two children of about four years of age, and 
carried off two more. One of the wounded was scalped and 
likely to die, and the other had two cuts on her forehead, 
given by an Indian who had attempted to scalp her but did 
not succeed. There were eight men of Fort Henry, posted in 
different neighbor's houses, about one mile and a half off, who, 
when they heard noise of the guns firing, immediately went 
towards it but came too late. The Penna. Gazette of Dec. 9, 
also says they had heard of a woman who had been missing 
from Heidelberg Township for three weeks past, and was sup- 
posed to have been carried off by the sav^ages. 

Again in the issue of July, 1757, the Penn'a Gazette gives 


this extract from a letter dated, Heidelberg, July 9tli : "Yester- 
day, about three o'clock in the afternoon, between Valentine 
Herchelroar's and Tobias Bickell's, four Indians killed two 
children; one of about four years, the other five; they at the 
same time scalped a young woman of about sixteen ; but, with 
proper care, she is likely to live and do well. 

A woman was terribly cut with the tomahawk, but not 
scalped — her life is despaired of. Three children were carried 
off prisoners. One Christian Schrenk's wife, being among the 
rest, bravely defended herself and children, for a while ; wrest- 
ing the gun out of the Indian's hands, who assaulted her, also 
his tomahawk, and threw them away; and afterwards was 
obliged to save her own life — two of her children were taken 
captive in the meantime. In this house were also twenty 
women and children, who had fled from their own habitations, 
to take shelter; the men belonging to them were about one- 
half mile off, picking cherries — they came as quick as possible 
and went in pursuit of the Indians, but to no purpose, the 
Indians had concealed themselves." 

In August, 1757, people were murdered by the Indians in 
Bern Township, and others carried off. At Tulpehocken a 
man named Lebenguth, and his wife, were killed, and scalped. 
On Oct. 4, 1758, a letter from Fort Henry says, ^The first of 
October, the Indians burnt a house on Swatara, killed one 
man, and three are missing. Two boys were found tied to a 
tree and were released. We are alarmed in the fort almost 
every night by a terrible barking of dogs; there are certainly 
some Indians about us." (Penn. Gazette, Octo. 19, 1758). On 
Sept. 9, 1763, a letter from Eeading says: — "A few of the 
Kangers who had encamped in Berks County, were apprized 
of the approach of Indians by their outscouts ; the Indians ad- 
vanced cautiously to take them by surprise; when near, with 
savage yells they rushed forward, but the Kangers, springing 
on their feet, shot the three in front; the rest fled into a 
thicket and escaped. The Indians were armed with guns and 
provided with ammunition. These Indians, it is supposed by 
some, had been on their way from the Moravian Indians, in 
Northampton County, to the Big island. Eunners were sent 


to the different parties of Eangers with information and others 
sent in pursuit of those who fled." (Rupp, p. 77). 

During the same month, eight well armed Indians came to 
the house of John Fincher, a Quaker, residing north of the 
Blue Mountains, in Berks County, about twenty-four miles 
from Beading, and within three-quarters of a mile of a party 
of six men of Captain Kern's company of Eangers, com- 
manded by Ensign Scheffer. At the approach of the Indians, 
John Fincher, his wife, two sons and daughter, immediately 
went to the door and asked them to enter in and eat, express- 
ing the hope that they came as friends, and entreated them 
to spare their lives. To this entreaty the Indians turned a 
deaf ear. Both parents and two sons were deliberately mur- 
dered, their bodies being found on the spot. The daughter was 
missing after the departure of the Indians, and it was sup- 
posed from the cries heard by the neighbors that she also was 

A young lad, who lived with Fincher, made his escape and 
notified Ensign Scheffer, who instantly went in pursuit of 
these cold-blooded assassins. He pursued them to the house 
of one Miller, where he found four children murdered; the 
Indians having carried two others with them. Miller and 
his wife, being at work in the field, saved their lives by 
flight. Mr. Miller himself was pursued near one mile by an 
Indian, who fired at him twice in hot pursuit. Ensign Schef- 
fer and his squad continued after the savages, overtook them, 
and fired upon them. The Indians returned the fire, and a 
sharp but short conflict ensued, when the enemy fled, leaving 
behind them Miller's two children and part of the plunder 
they had taken. 

These barbarous Indians had scalped all the persons they 
murdered, except an infant about two weeks old, whose head 
they had dashed against the wall, to which the brains and 
clotted blood adhered as a silent witness of their cruelty. 

The consequence of this massacre was the desertion of all 
the settlements beyond the Blue Mountains. 

A few days after these atrocious murders, the house of 
Frantz Hubler, in Bern Township, eighteen miles from Read- 
ing, was attacked by surprise. Hubler was wounded, his wife 


and three of his children were carried off, and three other of 
his children scalped alive, two of whom died shortly after- 

On Sept. 10, 1763, five Indians entered the house of Philip 
Martloff, in Berks County, at the base of the Blue Mountains, 
murdered and scalped his wife, two sons and two daughters, 
burnt the house and barn, the stacks of hay and grain, and 
destroyed everything of any value. Martloff was absent from 
home, and one daughter escaped at the time of the murder 
by running and secreting herself in a thicket. The father and 
daughter were left in abject misery. (Eupp, p. 78). 

A brief mention has already been made of the Frantz 
family, in Bethel Township. The Penn'a Gazette of June, 
1758, gives the following account of the case, which substan- 
tially agrees with the tradition told me by one of the descend- 
ants, still living in that locality : 

"At the time this murder was committed, Mr. Frantz was 
out at work ; his neighbors having heard the firing of guns by 
the Indians immediately repaired to the house of Frantz; on 
their way they apprised him of the report — ^when they arrived 
at the house they found Mrs. Franz dead (having been killed 
by the Indians because she was rather infirm and sickly, and 
so unable to travel), and all the children gone; they then 
pursued the Indians some distance, but all in vain. The chil- 
dren were taken and kept captives for several years. 

A few years after this horrible affair, all of them, except 
one, the youngest, were exchanged. The oldest of them, a lad 
of twelve or thirteen years of age, at the time when captured, 
related the tragical scene of his mother being tomahawked 
and shamefully treated. Him they compelled to carry the 

The anxious father, having received two of his children as 
from the dead, still sighed for the one that was not. When- 
ever he heard of children being exchanged he mounted his 
horse to see whether, among the captured, was not his dear 
little one. On one occasion he paid a man forty pounds to 
restore his child, who had reported that he knew where it was. 
To another he paid a hundred dollars, and himself went to 
Canada in search of the lost one — but, to his sorx'ow, never 


could trace his child. A parent can realize his feelings — they 
cannot be described.'^ 

The Eev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, D. D., in the Hallische 
Nachrichten, tells the soul-stirring story of Frederick Keichels- 
dorfer, whose two grown daughters had attended a course of 
instruction, under him, in the Catechism, and been solemnly 
admitted by confirmation to the communion of the Ev. Luth- 
eran Church, in New Hanover, Montgomery county. 

^'This man afterwards went with his family some distance 
into the interior, to a tract of land which he had purchased 
in Albany township, Berks county [see under Fort Everett 
also]. When the war with the Indians broke out, he removed 
his family to his former residence, and occasionally returned 
to his farm, to attend to his grain and cattle. On one occa- 
sion he went, accompanied by his two daughters, to spend a 
few days there, and bring away some wheat. On Friday even- 
ing, after the wagon had been loaded, and everything was 
ready for their return on the morrow, his daughters com- 
plained that they felt anxious and dejected, and were im- 
pressed with the idea that they were soon to die. They re- 
quested their father to unite with them in singing the familiar 
German funeral hymn, 

'^Wev weiss wie nahe meine Ende?" 
(Who knows how near my end may be?) 

after which they commended themselves to God in prayer, and 
retired to rest. 

The light of the succeeding morn beamed upon them, and 
all was yet well. Whilst the daughters were attending to the 
dairy, cheered with the joyful hope of soon greeting their 
friends, and being out of danger, the father went to the field 
for the horses, to prepare for their departure home. As he 
was passing through the field, he suddenly saw two Indians, 
armed with rifles, tomahawks and scalping knives, making 
towards him at full speed. The sight so terrified him that 
he lost all self command, and stood motionless and. silent. 
When they were about twenty yards from him, he suddenly, 
and with all his strength, exclaimed "Lord Jesus, living and 
dying, I am thine!" Scarcely had the Indians heard the 

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words ''Lord Jesus" (which they probably knew as the white 
man's name of the Great Spirit), when they stopped short, 
and uttered a hideous yell. 

The man ran with almost supernatural strength into the 
dense forest, and by taking a serpentine course, the Indians 
lost sight of him, and relinquished the pursuit. He hastened 
to an adjoining farm, where two German families resided, for 
assistance, but, on approaching near it, he heard the dying 
groans of the families, who were falling beneath the muderous 
tomahawks of some other Indians. 

Having providentially not been observed by them, he hasten- 
ed back to learn the fate of his daughters. But, alas ! on ar- 
riving within sight, he found his home and barn enveloped 
with flames. Finding that the Indians had possession here 
too, he hastened to another adjoining farm for help. Keturn- 
ing, armed with several men, he found the house reduced to 
ashes and the Indians gone. His eldest daughter had been 
almost entirely burnt up, a few remains only of her body be- 
ing found. And, awful to relate, the younger daughter 
though the scalp had been cut from her head, and her body 
horribly mangled from head to foot with the tomahawk, was 
yet living. "The poor worm," says Muhlenberg, "was able 
to state all the circumstances of the dreadful scene." After 
having done so she requested her father to stoop down to 
her that she might give him a parting kiss, and then go to 
her dear Saviour : and after she had impressed her dying lips 
upon his cheek, she yielded her spirt into the hands of that 
Eedeemer, who, though His judgments are often unsearchable, 
and His ways past finding out, has neverth'^less said, "I am the 
resurrection and the life, if any man believe in me, though he 
die yet shall he live." 


Unpleasant as is the duty, it becomes necessary for me 
here to refer to the inaccurate positions of various forts, 
whose history has just been given or will presently be taken 
up, on the Historical Map of Pennsylvania, published by the 

*The site of this fort was marked by the Berks Co. Historical Society in 1915— Ed. 


Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1875. Fort Harris and 
Fort Hunter are correctly marked; Fort Manada and Eobin- 
son's Mill are at the right place but each on the wrong side of 
Manada Creek; Fort Henry at Swatara Gap is placed where 
Fort Swatara belongs, but also on the wrong side of the 
Swatara Creek; Fort Swatara as given on Swatara Creek is 
entirely wrong and should be obliterated; Six's Fort is cor- 
rect except that the name should be properly given as Fort 
Henry; Fort Northkill's position on the Tulpehocken Creek is 
altogether wrong, as it belongs at the base of the Blue Moun- 
tains just below the Fort at Dietrich Snyder's, which is right ; 
Fort Lebanon should be nearer the mouth of the Bohundy Creek 
and on the other side of the stream. The remaining forts are 
placed very nearly at their correct locations. At Lehigh Gap, 
however, the fort above the mountains has been omitted. It 
was on the north bank of the the Aquanshicola Creek, almost at 
the entrance of the Gap. 

With this digression we are prepared to follow along the 
mountains to the next station, called Fort Northkill, eleven 
miles distant from Fort Henry to the west, and equally dis- 
tant from Fort Lebanon to the east; that is to say. Fort 
Northkill was half way between its two neighbors. This state- 
ment practically explains its existence, which was owing to 
the fact that the rich and thickly populated county of Berks 
demanded for its protection more than the two forts which 
were twenty-two miles apart. Indeed the utmost vigilance 
of the garrisons in all three forts did not save its settlers 
from their merciless enemy, except in part. 

On Jany. 25th, 1756, Captain Jacob Morgan, in command 
of Fort Lebanon, above what is now Port Clinton, was 
ordered to leave twenty men at his fort and with the remaining 
thirty proceed "to some convenient place about half way be- 
tween that Fort and Fort at Tolihaio, and there to 

erect a stoccado of about 400 foot square, where he is to leave 
20 men under a commiss'd officer and to return to Fort Leba- 
non, which he is to make his Headquarters and from that 
stoccado & form fort Lebanon, his men are to Kange and 
scour the woods both eastward and westward." (Penn. Arch., 
ii, p. 547.) 


In choosing the ground for the stockade he is to take care 
that there is no hill near it which will overlook or command 
it, from whence an enemy might annoy the people within, 
and also to see that there is a spring or running stream of 
water either in the fort or least within command of their 
guns. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 548.) 

The orders were duly carried out and the stockade erected, 
but evidently with somewhat less care than should have been 
exercised. Commissary James Young, when making his tour 
of inspection in 1756, has this to say of its shape and ap- 
pearance : 

June 20th, at 2 P. M., I set out from Beading, Escorted by 
5 men of the town, on horseback, for the Fort at Northkill; 
at i past 6, we came to the Fort, it is ab't 19 miles from Kead- 
in, the Eoad very hilly and thick of wood; the Fort is ab't 9 
miles to the Westw'd of Schuylkill, and Stand in a very thick 
Wood, on a small Kising Ground, half a mile from the middle 
Northkill Creek; it is intended for a square ab't 32 ft. Each 
way, at Each^ Corner is a half Bastin, of very little Service to 
Flank the Curtains, the Stoccades are very ill fixed in the 
Ground and open in many Places; within is a very bad Logg 
house for the people, it has no Chimney, and can afford but lit- 
tle shelter in bad weather; when I came here, the Serjant who 
is Commander, was absent and gone to the next plantation, 
half a mile off, but soon came, when he had intelligence I was 
there; he told me he had 14 men Posted with him, all De- 
tached from Capt. Morgan's Comp'y, at Fort Lebanon, 5 of 
them were absent by his leave, Vist. two he had let go to 
Beading for three days. One he had let go to his Own house, 
10 miles off, and two more this afternoon, a few miles from the 
Fort, on their own business ; there was but Eight men and the 
Serjant on Duty. I am of opinion there ought 'to be a Com- 
mission'd Officer here, as the Serjant does not do his Duty, 
nor are the men under proper Command for want of a More 
Superior Officer; the woods are not Clear'd above 40 Yards 
from the Fort; I gave orders to cut all down for 200 y'ds; I 
inquired the reason there was so little Powder & Lead here, 
the Serjant told me he had repeatedly requested more of 
Capt. Morgan, but to no purpose. Provisions here. Flower 


and Eum, for 4 Weeks ; Mr. Seely, of Heading, sends the Officer 
money to purchase meal as they want it. — Provincial Arms 
& Ammun'tn at North Kill Fort, vizt: 8 Gd. muskets, 4 
Eounds of Powder — Lead, pr. man, 15 Blankets, 3 Axes. 

The next day he left for Fort Lebanon, and upon his ar- 
rival there informed Captain Morgan that the Sergeant in 
command at Northkill was derelict in his duty, and requested 
him to send a commissioned officer to relieve him, whereupon 
his Lieutenant was detailed for that purpose, and started for 
the post accompanied by two additional men taking with them 
4 pounds of powder and 10 pounds of lead. (Penn. Arch., ii, 
p. 675-676.) 

In July Col. Weiser directs Capt. Morgan to order "Six men 
to range from the little Fort on Northkill westward to the 
Emericks, and stay there if the people unite to work together 
in their Harvest, Six men to range Eastward on the same 
footing. Eight men to stay in that Fort.'' (Penn. Arch., ii, 
p. 696.) 

From the foregoing we see that Fort Northkill was built 
by the Government troops in the beginning of February, 1756. 
We have just read a description of its size and appearance. 
Not very extensive and hastily constructed, it was never in- 
tended for more than a station, which it was absolutely neces- 
sary to sustain between the two large forts. From the journal 
of its commanding officer, which will follow in full, we notice 
that in the summer of 1757 preparations were made for the 
erection of a more substantial place of defense. It is very 
doubtful whether this latter was ever constructed, for in the 
beginning of March, 1758, as we will see presently, the stock- 
ade was abandoned. The position, now determined, corre- 
sponds precisely with the description given above of the origi- 
nal fort, and nothing is known of any other in that locality. 
It is possible, of course, that the new fort may have been built 
beside the other, although there is barely room on the little 
elevation on which it stood for that. The new fort, again, 
may have only meant a general putting in order of the old, 
but I am inclined to believe that the project of its erection was 
abandoned after it had been commenced, and that we have only 


to deal with the original stockade. The maps herewith given 
will Illustrate its position. 

This is one of the very few forts of which any trace exists. 
The cellar is still visible, although now nearly drifted full 
with forest leaves. This is unquestionably owing to its iso- 
lated location. Its site is about two miles distant from 
Strausstown in Upper Tulpehocken township, Berks county, 
and about half a mile from one of the branches of the Northkill 
creek, from which it derives its name. It stood directly at 
the base of the mountains, and, even now, is still on the edge 
of the wood land. Its position, however, was good. It was but 
a short distance from the main. State road, and on slightly 
elevated ground which gave it a full view of the cultivated 
valley lying all around it. A small stream of water, emanat- 
ing from a spring, was close to it. At the time of the Indian 
troubles, as now the land was cultivated almost up to the 
fort, but, even now, as then, its site stands on the edge of 
waste mountain land, and it is owing to its undisturbed con- 
dition that some trace of it can still be seen. Mr. Jonathan 
Goodman, of Strausstown, a gentleman who in 1879 was 
nearly eighty years old, and who was born and lived all 
his life, time in that neighborhood, remembered that, in his 
younger days the stockades were still in position and higher 
than the ceiling of a room, and that the form of the fort could 
still be seen. (Indians of Berks County, D. B. Brunner, p. 23.) 
To this day the location of Fort Northkill is well known in 
and about Strausstown. 

Whilst it may have been a comparatively insignificant sta- 
tion, it was a most important one. We will see from its records 
that its garrison and officers were always most actively en- 
gaged. In fact they probably had more than their share of 
actual encounters with the savages. It would certainly be an 
ill-advised act not to erect a monument to mark the location 
of Fort Northkill. It should be placed on the site of the 

A number of these interesting occurrences are, fortunately, 
on record, and their perusal will add much to the interest 
which attaches itself to this fort. 

One of these encounters is related in a letter from Lieut. 
Humphreys, in command, to Col. Weiser: 


Thursday, Nov. 4th, 1756. 
Fort above the Northkill. 
May it pleace the Colonel : 

Yesterday we were alarmed by a number of Indians, who 
came and took a Child away. Immediately upon hearing the 
News, I, with nine men, went in Pursuit of 'em, leaving a 
Number of Farmers to guard the Fort 'till we should return. 
But we found nothing 'till this morning, we went out again; 
and, in our Return to the Fort, we were apprized of 'em by 
the firing of several Guns; when I ordered my men to make 
what speed they could. We ran till we were almost out of 
Breath, and, upon finding Nicholas Long's House attack'd by 
the Indians, the Farmers, who were with us to the Number of 
Twenty, deserted and fled, leaving the Soldiers to Fight. We 
stood in Battle with 'em for several minutes 'till there was 
about Sixty Guns discharged and, at length, we put the In- 
dians to Flight. 

We have one Man wounded, and my Coat was shot through 
in four Places. The Number of the Indians was twenty. Our 
Number at first was twenty-four. But they all deserted and 
fled except seven. Two old men were killed before we came, 
one of whom was Scalped. Ten Women & Children were in 
the Cellar and the House was on Fire; But we extinguished 
it and brought the Women and Children to the Fort. I de- 
sire the Colonel to send me a Reinforcement; for the men 
solemnly say they will not go out with the Farmers, as they 
deserted in the Battle and never fired a Gun. The Indians 
cryed the Halloo during the Battle. 

We have one of their Guns and a Blanket, which had two 
Holes with a Bullet in, and is Bloody. The Indians had all 
red Hats and red Blankets. 

This in Distress (wanting 
Reinforcement) from 
Yours to command, 

May it please the Colonel to send by the Bearer, Adam 
Hayerling, as much Powder and Lead as you can spare. 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 28.) 


Lieut. Humphreys also made his report to Capt. Morgan, 
who, in turn, on Nov'r 4th writes to Gov. Denny, giving him 
details of occurrences around Fort Lebanon, and this account 
of the fight at Northkill: 

"At 12 of the clock at Night I Kec'd an Express from 
Lieu't Humphres, Commander at the Fort at Northkill, who 
informed me that the same Day about 11 o'clock in the Fore- 
noon (about half a Mile from his Fort), as he was returning 
from his Scout, came upon a Body of Indians to the Number 
of 20 at the House of Nicholas Long, where they had killed 
2 old Men and taken another Captive, and doubtless would 
have kill'd all the Familly, they being 9 Children in the House, 
the Lieut's party tho' 7 in number, fired upon the Indians and 
thought they killed 2, they dropping down and started up 
again, one held his Hand (as they imagined) over his Wound, 
and they all ran off making a Hallowing Noisejj. we got a 
Blanket and a Gun which he that was shot dropt in his 
Flight. The Lieut, had one Man shot through the right arm 
and the right side, but hopes not mortal, & he had 4 Shotts 
through his Own Cloaths. I this day went out with a party 
to burry the dead nigh here; we are all in high spirits here; 
if it would please his Honour to order Keinforcement at 
both Forts, I doubt not but we should soon have an Oppor- 
tunity of Kevenging the Loss." (Penn Arch., iii, p. 30.) 

It is gratifying to know that Lieut. Humphreys received at 
least a fair amount of credit for his gallant action. James 
Bead, Esq., in writing Nov. 7th, to Gov. Denny, observes that 
"By concurrent Accounts from several Persons, whose char- 
acter will not suffer me to doubt what they tell me, I am per- 
suaded that Mr. Humphreys behav'd in a most laudable Man- 
ner, and manifested that calm courage and Presence of Mind 
which will ever gain an Advantage over superior Numbers, 
whose Leader is too precipitate and void of Discretion" (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 36). Immediately upon receipt of this the Gov- 
ernor directs Capt. Morgan to "thank Lieutenant Humphreys 
and the men under him on my part for ye gallant Behaviour in 
the later Action ag't the Indians." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 39.) 

The next record of events at Fort Northkill is the following 


copy of an interesting Journal kept by the officer in command, 
extending from the middle of June to September 1st, 1757, and 
fortunately preserved. I say in 1757, although the Penn. 
Archives, Vol. ii, page 159, speaks of it as a ^'Journal in 1754." 
This is simply impossible, and so evidently an error of some 
description as to hardly need comment. Suffice it to say that 
in 1754 the settlers were at peace with the Indians, at least 
in that vicinity, neither in 1754 were there such officers as 
Capt. Smith and Capt. Busse, both frequently mentioned, 
who were not commissioned until Nov., 1755, and Jan'y, 1756. 
It could not therefore be a "Journal of 1754." Neither was 
it written in 1755, because Fort Northkill of which it speaks 
and to which it unquestionably refers, was not built until 
Feby., 1756. It could not have been written from June to 
Sept., of 1756, because in June, 1756, Commissary James 
Young paid a visit of inspection to the fort, and, as we have 
seen, found there a sergeant in command, and made com- 
plaint of his inefficiency, recommending at the same time 
that a commissioned officer replace him, which was imme- 
diately done. The person who wrote this journal was un- 
questionably a commissioned officer. It could not possibly 
have been written in 1758, because we are told that in the 
beginning of March in that year the stockade had been aban- 
doned and partly demolished. It could only then have been 
in 1757, and the journal bears evidence of that fact in its 
contents. It will be recalled that during the latter part of 
May and beginning of June, 1757, it became necessary to 
reinforce Fort Augusta at Shamokin (Sunbury) and that 
three companies from Col. Weiser's battalion were ordered 
there for that purpose. We will also recall how the Forts in 
Berks county suffered for the lack of these troops, so much 
so, in fact, that Col. Weiser was obliged to order an officer 
and detachment from his own company at Reading to Fort 
Northkill (the rest of the company being ordered to Fort 
Augusta). This is distinctly specified in the Journal. The 
officer also says that he relieved Ensign Harry, whom we 
know to have been in command of Fort Northkill about this 
time, and probably immediately after Lieut. Humphreys. 
Moreover on Octo. 4, 1757, Col. Weiser in writing to Mr. 


Peters, tlie Governor's Secretary, says "Inclosed is the Jour- 
nal of last month of my Ensign at Northkill (Penn. Arch., 
iii, p. 283), most likely referring to the very one here given. 

A Journal of Fort Northkill, 1757. 

June 13. Keceived Orders from Lieutenant Colonel Weiser, 
to march from Beading with all the Company remaining 
there (the rest being commanded to Fort Augusta.) Accord- 
ingly I sat out from Eeading by Break of Day, on the 14th. 
Arrived at Lt. Col'l Weiser's where I rec'd Orders to march 
with the Company or Detachm't, to Fort Henry, and from 
there take a Detachm't of 20 Men, & .continue 'till to Fort 
Northkill. Accordingly on the 15th, In the morning took 
the said 20 men from Fort Henry of the New Levies and 
marched strait Way to the said Fort accompanied with 
Capt'ns Busse and Capt'ns Smith, as soon as I arrived I gave 
Ensign Harry (then Commander of said Fort) Notice of my 
Orders, and Sent off two Men immediately to the Colonels 
with a Eeport of the Condition I found the fort in, & sent him 
a List of the new Levies who were detached from Captain 
Busse's Fort with me to this Fort. 

16th. Capt'ns Busse & Smith sat otf ab't 10 o'clock with a 
Scout of 10 men, which Capt'n Busse had ordered from his 
Company on the 15th. And Ensign Harry march'd out of 
the fort ab't 12 o'clock (after delivering it to me), with his 
Men to Fort Lebanon, according to Orders. Provision I 
found in the fort as follows, 5 lb Powder, 198 lb Flower, 10 
Small Barrs of Lead, 15 lb of Beef and Pork, 34 lb Candles. 

17. I, with a Corporal & 20 Men, according to Orders from 
Lt. Col'l Weiser, went a scouting & Banging the Woods till 
to Fort Lebanon, where We arrived ab't 2 o'clock in the 
Afternoon. We staid there all Night, being not able to scout 
any further, or return home because of a heavy Bain. 

18. Sat off from Fort Lebanon in the morning being rainy 
Weather, and ranged the Woods coming back, as before, with 
the same number of men, & arrived at Fort on Northkill about 
4 o'clock in the afternoon. 

19. Gave Orders to Serj't Pet'r Smith to Scout to Fort 
Lebanon & to bring me Beport the next Day of his Proceed- 


ings. Accordingly He arrived on the 20th ab't 3 o'clock in the 
afternoon, and made Eeport that He had done according to 
his Orders, and that He had made no Discoveries. Eec'd a 
Letter by him from Capt'n Morgan, informing me that He had 
no News, &c. 

21. Sent off Corporal Shafer to scout as before. 

22d. Minister Shumaker came & preached a Sermon to the 
Company. The scout arrived from Fort Lebanon. The Cor- 
poral reported that Nothing strange had come to his knowl- 
edge. A scout of Capt'n Busse's arrived about 11 o'clock, 
and ret'd ab't 4 towards their forts, but upon the Indian 
Alarms they immediately ret'd back to my fort and gave me 
Notice. In the midst' of the Rain, I sent on the first Notice, 
Serj't Smith, with 18 men, and ordered them to divide them- 
selves in two Parties. 

June 23d. Serj't Smith ret'd and made Eeport that he ar- 
rived at Dietz's House about 10 o'clock in the Night, where 
they heard a Gun go off at Jacob Smith's about a mile from 
there. They immediately sat off again for said Smith's to- 
wards the Place where the Gun went off, and Surrounded the 
House (according to my Orders). They searched all the 
House but found no marks of Indians. From there they 
marched to Falks House in the Gap, and surrounded it, but 
found no Indians. From there they went to the Mountain, 
and arived there at 2 o'clock in the morning, where Serj't 
Smith according to Orders, Waylay the Eoad in two Parties, 
and as soon as it was Day went back and buried the man that 
was killed, to wit, Peter Geisinger, who was shot, and killed 
the Day before. At Buruying him, they heard 5 Guns go 
off ab't 2 miles from said Place, whereupon Serj't Smith Im- 
mediately repaired to the Place, & divided themselves in two 
Parties (I had sent off Corporal Sheffer with 8 men on the 22d 
to their assistance) . Serj't Smith also makes Eeport that this 
Morning at 7 o'clock a Girl ab't 15 years. Daughter of Balser 
Schmidt, was taken Prisoner, by two Indians, whose Tracts 
they saw and followed, but to no Purpose. A Party of Capt'n 
Busse's Company went along from this and remained with 
my men all the Time. 15 or 16 of the Inhabitants came to 


me and apply'd for assistance. I ordered out several De- 
tachm'ts to asist them. 

24. I sat off with 20 men from this to Capt'n Busse's Fort 
along the mountain, & called at the Place where the Murder 
was committed. Went up as far as the Gap of the Moun- 
tain, but as I found no Tracts there, I thought the Indians 
would be on this Side the mountains, therefore I went up 
along the mountains without opposition, till to Capt'n Busse's 
Fort, and as it rained very hard all Day and We went far 
about. We arrived there towards the Evening. 

25. Sat off in the morning with the same number of men, 
and scouted the Woods back near the same Way back again, 
and arrived towards Evening in the fort, being rainy 

26. Rec'd in the morning a Letter, for my positive Orders 
not to neglect my scouting towards Fort Lebanon, accord- 
ingly immediately called in my Detachm'ts. This afternoon 
a Woman living ab't IJ miles from here, came to the fort, and 
said she had seen an Indian just now in her Field, almost 
naked, & had a Gun, but said she did not stay to look long. 
I immediately sent off Serj't Smith with 2 Parties, consisting 
of ab't 20 men. They searched the Place, and found nothing, 
but saw 2 Barefeet Tracks. They divided into small Parties 
& Scoured the Woods til Evening & then ret'd to the Fort, and 
as I had to Day but men sufficient to guard the fort, I sent 
out no scout. This evening Intelligence came to me from 
the Colonel's, informing me that He had notice from Capt'n 
Orndt of 15 Indians going to fall on this Settlement or here- 
abouts. He ordered me therefore immediately to Send Notice 
thereof to Capt'n Busse's Fort, in order that it might be 
from there conveyed to Fort Swatara, accordingly I did. 

June 27. Gave Orders to Serj't Smith to go scouting the 
Woods between this and fort Lebanon, and if Capt'n Morgan 
thought that it was serviceable, to range some Way up Schuyl- 
kill (as that Gap is their common Rendevouz). 

28. A scout of Capt'n Busse arrived in the Forenoon, & 
sat off again this afternoon. 

29. In the Evening there came two men to the Fort, and 
reported that the Indians had invaded about 6 miles from 


this, ab't 9 o'clock this morning, I was somewhat concerned 
that I had no sooner Intelligence of it, however, I immediately 
sent off 12 men under 2 Corporals. 

30. About noon the 2 Corporals returned and made the fol- 
lowing Eeport. That Yesterday he could not reach the Place 
as they were tired, but staid at a House til nigh Break of 
Day, and then sat off again. He did not immediately go to 
the. Place where the man, &c., were killed, but went some- 
what further down towards Schuylkill, thinking that the In- 
dians had invaded lower down, but as it was not so, He took 
another Eout, towards Schuylkill, thinking that perhaps the 
Indians had invaded lower down, but as it was not so he took 
another Eout towards the place, where the murder was com- 
mitted, and as he came there, he found the Man's Wife (Fred. 
Myers) who had been at a Plough, and shot thro' both her 
Breasts, & was scalped. After that he went to look for the 
Man, whom they found dead & scalped some Way in the 
Woods. They took a Ladder & carried him to his Wife 
where the Neighbors came, & helped to bury them, after 
which they went towards the mountain, and scouted along 
the same & arrived here about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. It 
is reported by the Farmers who saw the deceased a short 
while before, that he was mowing in his Meadow, and that 
his Children were about him, which makes them Believe that 
the Man, after he heard the Shot (which killed his Wife) he 
went to run off with only the youngest Child in his Arms, as 
the Man was Shot thro' the Body, and the Child is IJ years of 
Age and is scalped, but yet alive, and is put to a Doctor's. 
The other three, who were with their Father, are taken Pris- 
oners; One of them is a Boy ab't 10 years old, the other a 
Girl of 8 years, & the other a Boy of 6 years. There was a 
Baby, whom they found in a Ditch, that the water was just 
to its Mouth. It was lying on its Back crying. It was taken 
up, and is like to do well. A Boy of one Eeichard, of Eight 
years, was taken Prisoner at the same time. This was all 
done within half an Hour, as some Nenghbors had been there 
in that Space of Time. 

July 1. Serj't Pet'r Smith ret'd with the Scout, and re- 
ported that when he came to Ft. Lebanon, Capt'n Morgan sent 


a Detaclim't under Ensign Harry to the Gap of the Schuyl- 
kill. And that on the 28th last past, they ascended the Moun- 
tains, and when they came on the other side, they found an 
encamping Place of the Indians, which, after Ensign Harry 
had surrounded with his Party, he sent off Serj't Smith with 
another Party to lay in ambush on the Indian Path all Night, 
but as nothing was to be heard of the Indians, they met 
again the next Day; The Indians, as he supposes, having left 
that Place the Day before. However, they found 2 Match 
Coats, one Spear, one Scalping Knife, some Virmilion, and 
800 Blank Wampum, also a great variety of Salves. The 29th 
they yet lay in Ambush in several Parties, but all to no pur- 
pose. The Indians having without Doubt discovered them, 
in Case any was thereabouts. The 30th they sat off from the 
Hills, and arrived within a few Miles of this fort. And the 1 
July, they arrived Accordingly in the Fort. 

July 2. Being rainy Weather I sent no Scout, but put the 
Men to work to repair the Stoccadoes. 

3. Early in the Morning my Men were all gathered, & I 
ordered a Corporal to Scout with a Party to Fort Lebanon, 
& return part of the Way and encamp in the Woods upon a 
rising Ground, that He might the easier discover a fire. 

4. In the Morning a Scout of Captain Busse's arrived & re- 
turned again in the Afternoon. The Scout from Fort Lebanon 
returned & the Corporal made Keport, that he had ranged* as 
directed but had made no Discoveries. 

5. Being a very rainy Day, could send no Scout. 

6. Sent Serj't Smith on a Scout to range on this Side the 
Mountains, towards Schuylkill. 

7. A Scout of Capt'n Busse's arrived & set off again di- 
rectly. In the afternoon my Scout ret'd, but had no News. 
It rained hard, they lay in a House about 12 Miles from here. 

8. Being appointed by his Honour the Govern'r a Day of 
Fast, I sent no Scout, but had a Sermon read in the fort, 
where numbers of the Neighbors had assembled. A Scout of 
Capt'n Busse's arrived & ret'd directly. 

9. Sent off Corp'l Shefer with a Scout to Fort Lebanon, 
who ret'd on the 


10. But brought no Intelligence. I rec'd Orders to repair 
to Reading, where I arrived this afternoon. 

11. Returned again to the Fort, where Serj't Smith in- 
formed me a Scout of Capt'n Busse's had arrived at the fort 
& ret'd. That he had ranged the Gap about 2 Miles from 
this, and had been over the Mountains, but had discovered 

12th. A Scout of Capt'n Busse's arrived & ret'd Immediately. 
Sent a Corporal and a Scout to Range to Fort Lebanon. 

13. My Scout from Fort Lebanon returned. The Corporal 
reported he had ranged as ordered, but had no Discoveries. 

14. Capt'n Busse arrived this morning with a Party of 
Capt'n Smith's and his own, to the Number of ab't 28. I 
gave him 15 of my Men, in order to escort the Treaty at 

15. It being a rainy Day I sent no Scout. 

16. Continuing rainy Weather, I could send no Scout. In 
the Evening repaired some Stoccadoes, the Rain having held 

17. The Water being high & the Bushes wet, I could send 
no Scout to Day. A Scout of Capt'n Busse's arrived, there 
being no Water between his & this fort. 

18. Sent a Scout along the Mountains. They arrived in 
the Evening & had no Intellig-ce. 

19. A Scout of Captn. Busse's arrived and ret'd directly. 
Sent Serj't Smith with a Scout to Fort Lebanon. 

20. Serj't Smith ret'd & reported that he had been at Fort 
Lebanon & ret'd some Part of the Way & laid in the Woods, 
but had made no fire. They made no Discovery. A Scout of 
Capt'n Busse's arrived & ret'd Instantly. 

21. Having laid out part of my Men to protect the Farmers 
& the Rest fatigued with Yesterday's Scout, I could send 
none to Day. 

22. Sent a Scout along the Mountain who ret'd without 
Discovering any Thing. 

July 23d. I went Scouting with a Party over the Moun- 
tains, and as it was very warm, I ordered the Men about Noon 
to rest themselves a Couple of Hours when We were over 
the Mountains, I then ordered them to march, and as We 


came to Schuylkill, I saw it was too high for the Men to 
wade through. I then got Horses, & towards Evening We 
got over Schuylkill. We arrived at Fort Lebanon towards 
Night, & was obliged to stay there that Night. 

24th. Eeturned, and as soon as We came over on this Side 
of the Mountains (it being early in the Day) I took quite an- 
other Kout thro' the Woods, but made no Discovery, so We 
arrived at the Fort in the Evening. I had not been there one 
half an hour befr. three Farmers came and informed me that 
this Morning the Indians had taken a Boy of about 14 Years 
Prisoner, but had done no other Damage. I immediately sent 
off a party, but as it happened, the Boy being taken Prisoner 
in the Morning, Night came on before my Men could get 

25. In the Morning I heard the Boy had escaped, and that 
he made Eeport that there were 4 white Men & 4 Indians 
with him, & that At night he escaped, they had tied him and 
he was obliged to lay between them, but as they all got 
drunk, and fast asleep, he untied himself and ran off. He 
further says that when he was taken Prisoner he made a 
noise, and that they struck him & told him to be silent. I 
imagine they saw me with my Men go over the Day befr. 
yesterday. The Indians were this Night ab't the fort, but it 
was very dark, therefr, I did not sally out. 

26. This morning sent out Serj't Smith, with 5 Men to 
search ab't the fort for Tracks, but he only found one which 
was in a muddy Place. But it being nothing but Stones, He 
could not follow the Tracts. It rained all Day very hard, 
therefr. I could send no Scout. 

July 27th. Sent a Scout down on this Side of the Moun- 
tain. The Scout ret'd in the Evening having no intelligence. 

28th. A Scout of Capt'n Busse's arrived and ret'd ab't Noon ; 
Nothing Extraordinary happened. 

29th. Sent Serj't Smith with a Scout along the Mountains. 
He ret'd having nothing particular. 

30th. A Scout of Lt. Philip Weiser, from Cap't Busse ar- 
rived. Having laid aside out several Detachments to assist 
the Farmers, I could send no Scout to Day. 


31. Lieut. Weiser ret'd from his Scout. I called in the De- 
tachm'ts this Day, and sent out a Scout which ret'd this Even- 

Augt. 1st. The Men being tired & their Feet in Blisters, I 
let them rest this Day. 

2d. Sent a Scout along the Mountains with Orders to range 
to Schuylkill. 

3d. The Corporal ret'd from his Scout and reported he had 
ranged as ordered. 

4. A Scout of Capt'n Busse's arrived & ref d the same Day. 
The Inhabitants desiring Assistance to bring in their Har- 
vest, I gave them some men & went altho' a scouting, but as 
I left few Men in the Fort, I ret'd this Evening. 

5. A Scout of Capt'n Busse's arrived & went off aft'r they 
had rested awhile. Sent. Serj't Smith with a Scout & ordered 
him to range the Woods on this Side of the Mountains. He 
ret'd and had nothing particular. 

6. Sent off a Scout. They went along on the foot of the 
Mountains & ret'd the Evening without any Intelligence. 

7th. Being Sunday, I took a Party & went to Church with 
a Party, as the Church lies near the Mountain & the Minister 
could not come without a Guard. 

8. The Centry fired at an Indian. The Indian stood be- 
hind a Bush ab't 300 Yards off, and was viewing the fort. I 
went off with 18 Men and parted them in 6 Parties and went 
after the Indians, but could not come up with them. Went 
to clearing ab't the fort, it being thick with Bushes. 

9. Continued Clearing & burning Brush so that on the 
South Side of the Fort, it is cleared a full Musket Shot. A 
Party of Captain Busse's arrived. 

10. Sent off a scouting Party, who ret'd and brought no 
Intelligence. This Night the Centry ab't an Hour after Dark 
perceived that a fire had been kindled to burn Brush, but 
was befr. Night gone out, began to burn afresh; upon which 
he called the Serjeant of the Guard, who perceiving the same 
ordered the Guard to fire, on which the Indians ran off. The 
Dogs pursued 'em, & kept barking after 'em, ab't half a Mile. 
I had the Men all under Arms; but everything being now 
quiet, dismissed 'em, ordering them to be in continual Eeadi- 


ness with their Accoutrements on. In ab't an Hour, the In- 
dians ret'd and took a Firebrand out of the Fire & ran off. 
They were immediately fired on, but in vain. 

Aug. 11. Ensign Biddle arrived at the fort with the Detach- 
ment of our Company that were in Easton. 

12. A Scout of Capfn Busse's arrived & ret'd directly. 

13. This day I left the fort in Order to go to the Cols, 
agreeable to his Orders. I left Ensign Biddle in the fort. 
Sent a Corporal to range towards Schuylkill, who ret'd the 
same Evening & the Corporal reported that he ranged as di- 
rected and had made no Discoveries. A Scout of Capt'n 
Busse's arrived, & ret'd the same Evening. 

14. Being Sunday, Minister Shumaker came here, & the 
Soldiers being fatigued with continual Scouting, there was 
no Scout to Day. 

15. Ensign Biddle sent a Corporal with a Scout to range 
Eastwards towards Schuylkill & return under the Mountains. 
The Scout ret'd towards Evening, & the Corporal made Ke- 
port, he had ranged as directed, and had no Intelligence. 

16. Sent an express Serjeant with 15 Men to range East- 
ward along the Mountain. A Scout of Capt'n Busse's ar- 
rived & ret'd immediately. In the Afternoon, the Scout ret'd. 
The Serj't made Eeport he had ranged as directed, but had 
no news. 

17. Early this Morning Ensign Biddle sent Serj't Smith with 
10 men to escort Lieut. Col. Weiser, who was expected here 
this Day. This Day Col'l Weiser arrived, accompanied with 
Capt'n Busse and myself, together with the said Escort. The 
Col'l returned the same Day homewards, after We had chosen 
a place where to build a New Fort. Ensign Biddle went 
along with Capt'n Busse. 

18. Sent off a Scout to Fort Lebanon, and ordered them to 
range the Woods between here & that fort till Night. 

19. The Scout ret'd ab't 4 o'clock & informed that he had 
done according to his Orders. Capt'n Morgan came with the 
Scout and ret'd the same Evening. 

20. Sent a Scout of 15 Men to range the Woods towards 
Schuylkill, into Windsor Township, & with Orders to call in 


some Detachments lying in said Township, according to Lieut. 
Col's Orders. 

21. The Scout ret'd with the Detachm'ts. The Corporal re- 
ported he had done according to his Orders, but had no 
News. The same day Capt'n Busse & Ensign Biddle arrived 
from Fort Henry. Captain Busse ret'd the same Evening. 

22d. Kece'd an Express from Lieut. Col'l Weiser, with Orders 
to come to his House. In Pursuance of which, I sat off im- 
mediately, leaving Ensign Biddle in the fort. 

23d. A Scout of Capt'n Busse arrived. The Centrys heard 
the Indians distinctly whistle this Night in the fort Woods. 

24. Ensign Biddle, acording to Orders, with a Scout of 20 
Men, went over the Mountains to Captain Morgan's Fort. 

25. Lieut. Philip Weiser came here from Fort Henry, with 
a Scout. 

26. Ensign Biddle ret'd from his Scout, having been at 
Cap't Morgan's Fort, & from thence scouted over the Moun- 
tains into Allemangle & from thence along the foot of the 
Mountains till here. This Day I also arrived in the fort from 
Lt. Col'l Weiser's. 

27. Having Orders from Lt. Col'l Weiser's to look out for 
a proper Place to build a new fort, this being so bad^ I began 
to lay out one on a spot which had been befr. pitched upon 
by the Colonel and Capt'n Busse, But night coming. We 
could not finish. 

28. Laid out the remaining Part of the fort. 

29. Had some Brush cut, round the new intended fort, till 

30. Sent off a Scout towards Schuylkill. They ret'd in the 
Evening, but made no return with the remaining party of 
the Men. I continued clearing & burning of Brush. 

31. Sent off Serj't Smith with a scouting Party, towards 
Schuylkill. He ret'd but made no Discovery. 

After this there seems to have been more or less irregu- 
larity with regard to the occupation of Fort Northkill. Prob- 
ably the Government was already considering the matter of 
its abandonment, in connection with the plan of consolidating 
the various defences into a fewer number. It would seem as 


if the officer writing the above Journal was ordered away, 
with his command, in the beginning of September, because 
in a letter of Octo. 1st, 1757, to Gov. Denny, Col. Weiser says 
that Captain Oswald, who commanded a company of regular 
troops, from the Koyal American Kegiment, stationed at Bead- 
ing, sent immediately two Lieutenants, with 40 Privates, to the 
assistance of the people about Northkill who were in distress, 
which could hardly have been the case if the Fort had been 
still garrisoned. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 277). 

James Burd, in his Journal of inspection, Feby., 1758, visit- 
ed Fort Henry and directed its commander to continue rang- 
ing to Fort Northkill on the East. He also visited Fort Leba- 
non, or Fort William as then called, found Lieut. Humphreys 
and Ensign Harry there, and likewise directed its commander 
to patrol to Fort Northkill on the west. He paid no visit to 
Fort Northkill. This would indicate, without much doubt, 
that the Fort was no longer occupied by a regular body of 
soldiers, under the command of a commissioned officer, as here- 
tofore, although it is possible that detachments many have still 
temporarily taken possession of it. 

By March, 1758, it was completely abandoned as shown in 
the following petition to Gov'r Denny from Berks county, 
and its history ceases: 

March 15, 1758. 
The humble Petition of the Inhabitants of the Township of 
Bern and parts adjacent in the County of Berks in the said 
Sheweth ; 

That from the beginning of the Indian Incursions into this 
Province, the Neighborhood wherein your Petit'rs live hath 
been frequently harass'd by the Enemy, and numbers of their 
Neighbours cruelly murder'd, others captivated, and many of 
your petit'rs obliged to fly from their Dwellings to avoid the 
same Unhappy fate, to their unspeakable Terror and Distress. 
That during this winter the Severity of Weather hath prevented 
those Barbarians from committing their wonted Cruelties ; but 
as the Snow is now melting, and the weather is growing fair, 
your Petitioners are every moment dreading an attack from 
the Enemy, and find themselves less secure than heretofore. 


from their attempts, as the Blockhouse at Northkill is de- 
stroyed and no Garrison kept in those parts. 

Your Petitioners, in the deepest Distress, implore your 
Honour's Protection, and most earnestly beg that they may 
not be left a Prey to the Savage Enemy, protesting that with- 
out Assistance from the Public, they are utterly unable to 
defend themselves, and must on the first attack, abandon 
their Habitations, and rather embrace the most extreme 
poverty than remain subject to the merciless Kage of those 
bloody murderers; And that they have the greatest Keason 
to expect an Attack is obvious from the many former Suc- 
cessfull attempts of the Enemy, three or four Indian Paths 
leading into their Neighborhood. 

Your Petit'rs therefore most humbly beg your Honour to 
compassionate their miserable Circumstances, and order 
Soldiers to be Stationed for their Defence in some of the 
most exposed Farm Houses, or take such other effectual 
Measures for their Security and Protection as to your Honour's 
Wisdom shall seem meet. 

And as in duty bound they will every pray, &c. 
(Here follow the signatures in German.) 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 361). 

Besides the occurrences already mentioned, the Penn'a Ga- 
zette of May 19 1757, says 'We have an account from Fort 
Babel (Northkill) that on Friday last, a boy was killed and 
scalped; and another who had the small pox, was dangerously 
wounded by the Indians, within a mile and a half of said fort. 
Lieut. Humphreys went out, but could find nothing of the 
enemy. The wounded lad says, he saw but two Indians, one 
was painted black, the other red; they cut him badly, but 
would not scalp him for fear of the infection, as is supposed." 

The same paper in its issues of Octo. 6 and 13, 1757, men- 
tions about four persons being killed and four made prisoners 
near the Northkill, by a party of Indians, supposed to be 
about fifty. 

In April, 1758, at Tulpehocken, a man by the name of 
Lebenguth and his wife were killed and scalped. At North- 


kill, Nicholas Geiger's wife and two of his children were 
killed; and also Michael Ditzelar's wife was killed — these 
were all scalped. The Indians divided themselves into small 
parties, and surprised the settlers unawares. (0. Sauer's Ger- 
man Paper, April 1758). 

Hon. D. B. Brunner, in his Indians of Berks County, p. 23, 
speaks of seeing, in Nov'r, 1879, an interesting relic consist- 
ing of an old chest, the property of Mr. John W. Degler, who 
lived a short distance from Fort Northkill on a farm, settled 
by his great grandfather before the Indian War. Old Mr. 
Degler, who possessed the virtues of honesty, kindness, gen- 
erosity and hospitality, was on excellent terms with the In- 
dians, who frequently visited him, and to whom he always 
gave food and such other things as they might need. When 
the war broke out, and the Indians began murdering his 
neighbors, although he had not, as yet, been molested Mr. 
Degler feared treachery and moved his family in close prox- 
imity to the fort. The Indians, seeing this, believed he had 
become hostile to them and joined their enemies, so they at 
once proceeded to his home, ransacked the house, and de- 
molished things generally. Amongst these things was the 
chest in question, which was of cedar, unpainted, and pro- 
tected on the edges with iron. This was split completely 
through the midflle. It was afterwards repaired by placing 
small iron bands around the ends, but the lid still remained 
in two pieces. The chest. bears the date 1757, at which time 
it is presumed the Indians committed the deed just mentioned. 


No mention is made of this fort in the old records. It is, 
however, properly given on the Historical Map of Pennsyl- 
vania. In reality it was no fort, but merely a settler's log 
house used as a lookout station. It will be recalled that no 
gap exists in the mountains between Swatara Gap and the 
Schuylkill Gap. Whilst the enemy generally made use of 
these natural passages, they also, not infrequently, crossed 

*The site of this fort was marked by the Berks County Historical Society In 1915.— Ed. 


directly over the mountains, especially when they could take 
advantage of a roadway leading over them. Such was the 
case in this instance. Not far distant from the locality of 
Fort Northkill is a road leading over the mountain to Potts- 
ville, the only one in that vicinity. On this road, at the top of 
the Blue Mountains, on one of its most conspicuous points, 
Dietrich Snyder had built for himself a one story log house, 
about 20x40 feet. From this a view of the surrounding coun- 
try could be had, and the approach of marauding parties of 
savages, easily discovered by the trail of buring farm houses 
in their tracks, reported at once to the commander of Fort 
Northkill which stood but a mile and half, or two miles, below 
them. Then again this building, properly garrisoned, com- 
manded the road over the mountains. Its advantages were so 
great that it is hardly likely they would have been overlooked, 
and we have good reason to presume that soldiers occupied the 
house. To corroborate this fact, Mr. D. B. Brunner was told, 
in 1879, by Mr. Jonathan Goodman, of Strausstown, an old 
gentlemen thoroughly familiar with the place, that a fort was 
located there. Mr. Henry Brobst, of Eehrersburg, a gentlemen 
73 years old, also well acquainted with the vicinity informed 
me that, upon the death of Dietrich Snyder his wife still re- 
mained in the old house. She lived to be 115 years old. Upon 
her death the property was sold to a Mr. Millar, who tore down 
the old building and erected a new hotel, now owned by Mr. 
Harry Nine, which is still standing. The old blockhouse stood 
a short hundred yards directly north of the hotel. Mr. Brobst 
was acquainted with Mrs. Snyder and frequently saw the old 
building. Mr. Jos. Potteiger, of Strausstown, 65 years old, 
corroborated Mr. Brobst's statement, and added that the house 
was boarded inside and not plastered. 


Not far distant from Fort Northkill to the East is the im- 
portant gap in the mountain made by the Schuylkill Elver, 
where Port Clinton now stands. Some six miles north of 

*Marked by Mahantongo Chapter, D. A. R., 1913. 

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Port Clinton is the town of Auburn, and about 1^ miles 
east of Auburn stood Fort Lebanon, distant eleven miles from 
Fort Northkill, by the route usually taken, which was along 
the northern base of the Blue Kange, then across the moun- 
tain. This fort, during the latter part of its history, was also 
called Fort William. 

The first mention made of it is in a letter of instructions 
sent by Gov. Morris to Col. Weiser, on January 25, 1756, in 
which he speaks of having ordered "Captain Jacob Morgan,* 
who is posted at a fort in the forks of Schuylkill, called fort 
Lebanon," to take twenty men and build Fort Northkill. 
(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 547). 

The order, itself, as sent Capt. Morgan, is dated January 
26th, 1756, and begins, "As you are Captain of a Company 
of foot in the pay of this Province, now posted in a fort in the 
forks of Schuylkill, I think it necessary to give you the follow- 
ing Orders and Instructions for your better government and 
direction, (in the execution of the trust reposed in you. (Penn. 
Arch., ii, p. 555). 

Then follows the order relative to Fort Northkill. 

When writing to Col. George Washington, February 2, 1756, 
Gov. Morris mentions "Fort Lebanon, in the Forks of Schuyl- 

*Captain Jacob Morgan was boru in the district or shire of Caernarvon, in the northern 
part of Wales, in 1716, and emigrated with his father, Thomas Morgan, to Pennsylvania 
some time previous to 1730. In connection with a colony of Welsh people they migrated 
up the Schuylkill Valley from Philadelphia to the mouth of the French creek, and thence 
along its waters and beyond until they reached the headwaters of the Cone.«!toga creek, 
in Caernarvon township of Berks County, where they settled. The tract of land taken 
up by Thomas Morgan was in the vicinity of the present Morgantown, which was laid 
out by Jacob in 1770, and named after the family. At the outbreak of the Revolution, 
although nearly 60i years of age, he at once became very prominent, and retained this 
position until his death. In June, 1776, re was re-elected to represent Berks county as 
a delegate to the Provincial Conference, and in July following as a delegate to the 
Constitutional Convention. In 1777, upon the creation of that office, he was appointed 
Lieutenant of the county, being selected from a number of prominent and influential 
citizens. He filled this office with great credit until his resignation in December, 1780. 
He officiated as a judge of the county for the years 1768, 1769, 1772, and from 1774 to 
1777, also as a justice of the peace for the southern district of Berks county, which in- 
cluded Caernarvon township from 1777 to 1791. He was a man of great courage, and a 
most distinguished citizen of his adopted county and State. He died at Morgantown on 
November 11, 1792, at the age of 76 years, and was buried in the graveyard of St. Thomas 
Episcopal Church of that place. He left two sons, Jacob and Benjamin, and three 

daughters, Sarah (married to Jenkins), Mary (married to Nicholas Hudson), and 

Rebecca (married to John Price, an attorney at Reading). 


kill," as being one of the forts erected East of the Susque- 
hanna. (Penn. Arch, ii., p. 565). 

The date when this defense was built is not given, but, on 
January 25, 1756, it is already mentioned as in existence. 
Knowing, as we do, that the Indian depredations did not reach 
this vicinity until about November, 1755; knowing also that 
the Fort was built by the Government as one of the chain of 
defenses erected about November, 1755, and then too, know- 
ing that Capt. Morgan, its commander and undoubtedly its 
first commander, was not commissioned until December 5, 
1755, we are entirely justified in saying that it came into ex- 
istence during the month of December, 1755, and we have 
good reason to think that it was built by Capt. Morgan, and 
his soldiers. 

Fortunately we have this description of the fort, which 
tends to prove the correctness of my reasoning : 

Description of Fort Lebanon, 1756. 

Fort Lebanon, about 24 miles from Gnadenhutten (Fort 
Allen at Weissport), in the Line to Shamokin (Sunbury). 

Fort, 100 Foot Square. 

Stockades, 14 Foot high. 

House within built 30 x 20, with a large Store Room. 

A Spring within. 

A Magazine 12 Foot Square. 

On a Barren not much Timber about it. 

100 Families protected by it within the new Purchase. No 

Built in three weeks. Something considerably given by 
the neighbors toward it. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 665). 

It was one of the larger and more important forts. 

Commissary James Young has this to say of it during his 
tour of inspection : 

elune 21st, 1756 — Accordingly we sett out for Fort Lebanon 
(from Fort Northkill) ; all the way from North Kill to Lebanon 
is an Exceeding bad road, very Stony and mountanus. About 
6 miles from North kill, we Crossed the North Mountain, 
where we met Captain Morgan's Lieut, with 10 men. Ranging 


the woods between the Mountain and Fort Leb'n ; we past by 
two Plantations, the Rest of the Country is Chiefly Barren 
Hills, at noon we came to Fort Lebanon, which is situated in a 
Plain, on one side is a Plantation, on the other a Barren 
Pretty Clear of Woods all round, only a few trees about 50 
yards from the Fort, which I desired might be cut down. 
This Fort is a square of ab't 100 ft well staccoded with good 
Bastians, on one side of which is a Good Wall Piece, within 
is a good Guard house for the People, and two other Large 
houses built by the Country people who have taken refuge 
here, in all 6 Families. The Fort is a little too much Crowded 
on that acc't; I acquainted Cap't Morgan that the Serjeant at 
Northkill did not do his Duty, and I believ'd it would be for 
the good of the Service to have a Com'd Officer there, on 
which he ordered his Lieu't, with two more men to go and 
take post there, and sent with him 4 lbs Powder & 10 R) Lead. 
Provincial Arms & Ammun'tn: 28 G'd Muskets, 10 wanting 
Repair, 9 Rounds of Powder & Lead, 4 lb Powder, 24 lb Lead, 
30 cartooch boxes, 40 Blankets, 1 Axe, 1 Wall Piece. 

By Capt. Morgan's Journal, it appears, he sends a Party 
to Range the woods 4 or 5 times a week, and Guard the In- 
habitants at their Labor. At 1 P. M. I mustered the People 
and Examined the Certificates of Inlistments which appear in 
the muster Roll, after which I ordered the men to fire at a 
Mark, 15 of 28 hit within 2 foot of the Center, at the Distance 
of 80 yards. Provisions here : Flower and Rum for a Month ; 
the Commissary sends them money to Purchase meal as they 
want it. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 676.) 

On July 11th, 1756, Col. Weiser writes to Gov. Morris that 
his orders to Capt. Morgan, with regard to the garrison at 
Fort Lebanon, are that 15 men shall stay in Fort Lebanon, 
8 men protect the people over the hill in harvest time, 10 men 
range constantly eastward or westward, and, if the people 
return to their plantations thereabouts, to protect those that 
first join together to do their work. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 696.) 

I think it is well to give at this time a sketch showing the 
location of Fort Lebanon. 

Fort 'Lebanon stood on what is now the farm of Lewis Mar- 
burger, on the north side of the road between Auburn and 


Pine Dale, about 1^ miles from each. In the olden time this 
was not much more than a path, but still the line of communi- 
cation between the East, West and South. We are told that 
there was a spring inside of the fort. There are still traces 
of an old spring (now dry) some 15 feet back of the oak tree 
which stands on the south side of the road immediately oppo- 
site the site of the fort. It is more than likely that the old 
road did not run exactly as the present one. It may have 
been somewhat nearer the creek, and the fort may have ex- 
tended across the present road so as to include the spring 
mentioned. It is also possible that another spring may have 
been north of the road, and inside of the fort, which has long 
since dried up and disappeared, but of such an one the people 
know nothing. 

This position of the fort, besides agreeing with all records 
extant, comes from a most authentic source. Mr. Thos. J. 
Ebling, 56 years old, now living on his farm about f mile east 
of the fort, is a son of Gideon Ebling, who died in 1893, about 
80 years old, and a grandson of John Ebling, who died 40 years 
ago, aged 85 years. Mr. Thomas Ebling was born in an old 
blockhouse, which was burned down some 30 years ago and 
which stood about 50 feet from the road, back of where Jared 
Wagner's house is at this time. I have marked its site on the 
map. Paul Heim lived in it during the Indian troubles, when 
it was used as a house of refuge. It was planked inside with 
heavy timbers. At one time Mr. Heim saved a family near 
him from being burned to death. The Indians had set the 
building on fire and fastened the door to prevent any one 
from getting out. Hearing of this, Mr. Heim jumped on his 
white horse, took his gun, and managed to draw the enemy 
off, or frighten them away. He then returned and rescued* 
the people before the house was destroyed. 

Mr. Thomas Ebling is an intelligent man, as was also his 
father, Gideon Ebling, recently deceased. Outside parties 
testify to this fact also, and say that he retained all his facul- 
ties until his death. He delighted to tell about occurrences 
that happened in the past. His widow, a very old lady, lives 
yet. The grandfather, John Ebling, was personally acquainted 
with Paul Heim, of whom we have just read. Mr. Thomas 


Ebling says that both his father and grandfather frequently 
showed him the place where the fort stood and told him 
about it. They told him that it measured one hundred feet 
from the road north, which is verified by the official report 
previously given, and that they had frequently ploughed up 
grubbing hoes, stones, etc., used in the construction of the 
fort. This position was corroborated by the statement of 
people at Pine Dale. Mr. Ebling was moreover told by his 
father and grandfather that the soldiers obtained their water 
from the spring at the oak tree. About 75 feet west of the 
oak tree* there still remains a part of the stump of a tree near 
an apple tree in which quite a number of bullets have been 
found. The soldiers were probably in the habit of firing at 
it as a mark. The fort stood about 60 yards west of the road 
to Port Clinton, which there crosses Pine creek by a bridge. 
It is about the same distance north of Pine creek. The 
ground is level and somewhat elevated, falling down to the 
creek just below the oak tree. Pine creek is the old Bohundy 
creek, and it is not long since that a boat plying on the 
canal at Auburn was called the "Bohonto" after it. 

Of the old fort nothing remains, except a hollow place in 
the field, 20 feet north of the road, which marks the location 
of the cellar. 

Just to the north of the bridge, about midway on that part 
of the road which runs north and south, and on the west side 
of the road, tradition has it that an Indian was buried. 

Fort Lebanon was unquestionably of much importance, 
occupying or rather commanding the Schuylkill Gap. A monu- 
ment should certainly be erected to mark its position. I would 
recommend that it be placed by the public road, immediately 
opposite the oak tree and fronting the site of the fort. 

The location of the fort being now defined, we can the more 
intelligently turn to the record of events which are given as 
having transpired in its vicinity. 

The first mention is in the following report made by Cap- 
tain Morgan to Gov. Denny: 


Jacol) Morgan to Gov. Denny, 1756. 

November Fourth, 1756. 
Hon'd Sir, Yesterday Morning at Break of Day, one of ye 
Neighbours discovered a Fire at a distance from him; he went 
to ye top of another Mountain to take a better Observation, 
and made a full Discovery of Fire, and supposed it to be 
about 7 miles off, at the House of John Finsher; he came and 
informed me of it; I immediately detach'd a party of 10 Men 
(we being but 22 men in the Fort) to the place where they saw 
the Fire, at the said Finsher's House, it being nigh Skulkill, 
and the Men anxious to see the Enemy if there, they ran 
through the Water and the Bushes to the Fire, where to their 
disappointment saw none of them, but the House, Barn, and 
other out houses all in Flames, together with a Considerable 
Quantity of Corn ; they saw a great many tracks and followed 
them, came back to the House of Philip Culmore, thinking to 
send from thence to alarm the other Inhabitants to be on 
their Guard, but instead of that found the said Culmore's 
Wife and Daughter and Son-in Law all just kill'd and Scalped ; 
there is likewise missing out of the same House, Martin 
Feirs Wife and Child about 1 Year old, and another Boy 
about 7 Years of Age, the said Martin Fell was Him that was 
kiird, it was just done when the Scouts came there, and they 
seeing the Scouts ran off. The Scout divided in 2 partys, one 
to some other Houses nigh at Hand, & the other to the Fort, 
(it being within a Mile of the Fort) to inform me; I immedi- 
ately went out with the Scout again, (and left in the Fort no 
more than 6 men) but could not make any diso every, but 
brought all the Famileys to the Fort, where now I believe 
we are upwards of 60 Women and Children that are fled here 
for refuge, & at 12 of the Clock at Night I Kec'd an Express 
from Lieut. Humphres, commander at the Fort of Northkill, 
who informed me that the same Day about 11 o'clock in the 
Forenoon, (about a Half a Mile from his Fort) as he was re- 
turning from his Scout, came upon a Body of Indians to the 
Number of 20 at the House of Nicholas Long, where they had 
killed 2 old Men and taken another Captive, and doubtless 
would have kilPd all the Familey, they being 9 Children in 


the House, the Lieut's party tho' 7 in Number, fired upon the 
Indians and thought they killed 2, they dropping down and 
started up again, one held his Hand (as they imagined) over 
his Wound, and they all ran off making a hallowing Noise; 
we got a Blankett and a Gun which he that was shot dropt 
in his Flight. The Lieut, had one Man shot through the right 
Arm and the right side, but hopes not mortal, & he had 4 
.Shotts through his Own Oloathes. I this day went out with 
a party to bury the dead nigh here; we are all in high spirits 
here; if it would please his Honour to order a Keinforcement 
at both Forts, I doubt not but we should soon have an Oper- 
tunity of Kevenging the loss, from 

Honour'd Sir 
your most Humble Serv't to Command, 


Fort Lebanon, Wednesday, the 4th of November, at 3 of the 
Clock, post Miridian. 

To the Honourable William Denny, Esq'r, Lieut. Governour 
and Commander in Chief of the Province of Pennsyl'a, and 
County of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex, on Delaware. 

The Humble Petition of Jacob Morgan, Cap'n. Commander 
at Fort Lebanon, most Humbly sheweth : 

That having two Forts belonging to one Company, and my 
Men to the Number of 19 was drafted from me, being total 
but Fifty-Three, Your Petitioner thinks himself too weak to 
be of any Service to the Frontiers, seeing the Enemy com- 
mits violet Outrages nigh the Forts; as Yesterday, the 3d 
of November, I found 3 Persons Scalped, and their is 3 more 
missing within a Mile of Fort Lebanon, & 2 Men killed and 
one took Captive within J Mile of the Fort at Northkill, and 
dangerous it is to keep ye Forts if their was a Superiority in 
Number to besiege them, So your Petitioner in Humility 
begs that your Honour would take ye Premising into Con- 
sideration, & do as it shall seem meet or expedient to your 
Honour, which is in distress from him that for your Honour 
shall ever Pray. 


(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 30). 



This was sent by express to Col. Weiser, tlien in Philadel- 
phia, with the request that he present it to the Governor after 
his own perusal of its contents. The express passed through 
Beading and of course told the news, leaving, at the same 
time, a letter from James Read, Esq., who chanced to be ab- 
sent at Lancaster. Upon his return he likewise writes to the 
Governor giving him an account of the occurrences at Fort 
Lebanon. He says, ^'What I can gather from a Person who 
was near Fort Lebanon, (where Captain Morgan is Stationed) 
at the Burial of the People kill'd thereabouts is. That on 
Wednesday last, about noon, a Party of Savages came to the 
farm of one Jacob Finsher, about Six miles from that Fort, 
and set Fire to his House, Barn, and Barracks of Corn and 
Hay; upon first notice whereof, Captain Morgan detach'd ten 
men from his Fort, and soon after followed with a few more, 
who, as they were returning from their Pursuit, not having 
met any Enemy, found Pinchers Barn, &c. consumed, and at 
Martin Fell's House, about a Mile from the Fort, found Mar- 
tin and his Wife's Sister and her Mother scalp'd, the young 
woman being not yet quite dead, but insensible, and Stuck 
in the Throat as Butchers kill a Pig; she soon died, and was 
buried with the others. Martin's Wife, and two Children, 
one about a Twelve month, the other about Seven years old, 
were carried off Captives. By a Gentleman who left Fort 
Lebanon yesterday afternoon, I hear that Sixty Women and 
Children have fled into it for Refuge, and several Families 
have come further into the Settlements, with their Household 
Goods & Stock. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 36). 

On June 24th, 1757, Captain Morgan writes : 

^^On Wednesday last we were alarmed by one of the neigh- 
bours that came to the Fort, and acquainted us that one 
Jno. Bushy had seen an Indian at his house, (which was about 
3 miles from Fort Lebanon). I immediately went out with a 
party of men to the place where we found the tracts of three, 
but could not see any of them. 

Yesterday morning about 8 of the clock, the son of one 
Adam Drum, (whom the Indians had killed the night before 
in AUemingle, and took the Son Captive) found an oppor- 


tunity to make his Escape, and came to the Fort; he informed 
me that the Indians, (8 in number) had got a quantity of 
Liquor out of his Fathers House, and came to a Hill about 7 
miles from the Fort, where they got a dancing, and made 
themselves drunk, he took the opportunity and escaped to the 
Fort, the Indian followed him near a mile and half whom our 
men afterwards tract'd; so as soon as the young man came 
I sent out a party to the place where the man left them, but 
when they came there they only found an old pair of Moga- 
sins, and a Deer Skin whom they had left, but the Indians 
were fled; they tract'd them as far as they could but night 
coming, obliged them to return home. I have this Day sent 
out a Party to intercept them in the way, to the Gap of the 
second Mountain, (where Schuylkill comes through) being the 
place which I often found where they retreat back; the men 
will range about 2 days." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 190). 

A portion of the guard which attended Col. Weiser at 
Easton, during the conference with the Indians in July, 1757, 
came from Fort Lebanon. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 218). 

The Governor, or Col. Weiser, seems to have given instruc- 
tions to the various commanding officers of the forts that 
they should keep a daily record of events and duties per- 
formed at their stations. We have several of these preserved. 
Amongst them is the Journal of Capt. Morgan for the month 
of July, 1757, which now follows: 

Monthly Journal for July, per Jacoh Morgan, 1757. 

July the 1st. Sent a Corporall with 11 men on a Scout to 
Clingaman Hausaboughs, at AUemingle, who staid all Night; 
sent Serj't Mathews with several men to Beading, to be Quali- 
fyed & be supplied with necessaries. 

2d. The Scout return't from AUemingle, and reported they 
had made no discovery of the Enemy. 

3d. Sent a party to range to AUemingle, same date came 
a Scout from Northkill Fort & return'd again the same day, 
bringing no news. 

4th. Our men returned to AUemingle, and reported, that 
some of the inhabitants that were afraid, near the mountain. 


were removing downwards; Serj't Matthews returned with 
the men from Reading, the rest guarding at the Fort. 

5th, 6th, 7th. Was exceeding heavy rain, & the water very- 

8th. Being a day of Humiliation we appl'd our selves there- 

9th. Rainy weather, we could not Scout. 

10th. I sent out a party to range to Allemingle; this Day 
Serj't Matthews return' t from Colonel Weisers, with orders 
for me to station 10 men in Windsor Township, & to keep 10 
men in readiness to go to Easton. 

11th. The Scout return'd back, I prepared the men in readi- 
ness according to orders, & sent some men to guard the 
Farmers in their Harvest. 

12th. I went with the 10 men to Windsor Township & sta- 
tioned them there, where I found the most proper. In the 
Evening was very heavy rain & thunder, obliged me to stay 
all night; we sent some partys from the Fort to guard the 

13th. I returned in the morning to the fort, I received a 
Letter from Lieut. Colonel Weiser, to send 10 men to Easton 
to Guard at the Treaty; partys went to Guard the Farmers, 
& this Day, in my return, I met the Scout which I had posted 
in Windsor township, ranging about the farmers houses. 

14th. I sent Serj't Matthews with 9 men to Easton to the 
Treaty to Guard, & sent out some partys to range and Guard 
the Farmers, who did return in the Evening by reason of the 
heavy rain and thunder, which fell in the Evening. 

15th. Being all Day very heavy rain, & the Creeks so high 
that Schuylkill rose perpendicular fifteen feet in about nine 
hours time, being considerable higher than ever was known 
in these parts; the Guards could not return, and we remained 
in the Fort, with only 8 men to Guard. 

16th. The rain continued but more moderate, our partys 
could not return, we staid in the Fort and Guarded as usual ; 
the party ranging up Long Run among the vacant houses, 
they found old tracts but none new. 

17th. Some of our Guards returned, being relieved by others 
in their lieu — the Creeks fell very much this Day. 


18th. I sent a party to Guard the farmers at their Harvest, 
and left some at the neighboring houses, the rest to Guard 
at the Fort. 

19th. I likewise sent a party to guard who returned in the 
Evening, the residue guarding at the Fort. 

20th. I sent out two partys to range and Guard the Farmers, 
who both returned in the Evening. 

21st. I likewise sent out a party to Guard, we were adver- 
tis'd by Jacob Shefer that an Indian was seen near his house, 
we having 2 men ranging there they saw nothing of their 
tracts, & believe it was a mistake. 

22d. Sent out a party to range to the Fort, at Northkill, 
with Ensign Harry for Ammunition, who staid all night, the 
rest guarding at the Fort and farmers. 

23d. The party from North Kill return'd with a Command 
of Cori Weiser's men, with Lieut. Weiser himself, who staid 
here all Mght; sent out a party to Guard the Farmers, who 
return'd in the Evening to the Fort. 

24th. Lieut. Weiser retun'd with his Company, sent a party 
of ten men to relieve the party in Windsor township; the rest 
to Guard. 

25th. The party return'd from Windsor township to the 
fort, when a party of them enlisted for three years. 

26th. Sent Serj't Eobert Smith with a Company of men to 
Beading to be Qualifyed, and being but a few at the fort could 
not range; have two Commands at the Farmers. 

27th. I went down to Windsor among the men to see 
whether they kept good orders; I found everything very well, 
and enlisted more men and staid there all Night, the Com- 
mand remaining at the Farmers. 

28th. I returned back to the fort and found everything well ; 
Serj't Smith, with his party, returned from Heading, the guard 
remaining still with the Farmers. 

29th. Ensign Harry went out with a party to range among 
the farmers, and sent out two partys to Guard the Neigh- 
bours at their Harvest; they return'd without any discovery 
or signs of the Enemy. 

SQth. I went over the Hill to Windsor township, in order to 


send some men to Reading to be Qualifyed, I sent a Corporall 
with Sixteen men; I return'd in the Evening to the fort. 

31st. The party return'd from Reading; we had partys at 
the neighbouring houses, who remained there on Guard 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 252). 

As we have already learned, Captain Morgan was in com- 
mand of Fort Lebanon. He was its first commanding officer 
and retained the position. His commission was dated Decem- 
ber 5, 1755. Andrew Engel was his Lieutenant at that time, 
commissioned January 5, 1756, and Jacob Kern his Ensign, 
whose commission dated from the same time. Later on, En- 
sign Harry seems to have taken the place of Mr. Kern, and 
Lieut. Humphreys of Mr. Engel, transferred to Allemingel. 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 88). 

In February, 1758, Adjutant Kern reports Capt. Morgan 
still on duty at the same place, and gives its distance from 
Fort Henry as 22 miles. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 339). Here, how- 
ever, for the first time we find it called Fort William instead 
of Fort Lebanon. When and why its name was changed we 
do not know. It was probably done towards the latter part 
of 1757 or beginning of 1758, but the reason for so doing can- 
not be surmised. Fort William, however, is unquestionably 
one and the same place as Fort Lebanon. The name of its 
officers, and the distance from Fort Henry, as given by Adju- 
tant Kern, are ample proof of this fact. It is verified, how- 
ever, in the journal of Mr. Burd, which follows, wherein he 
likewise names its officers and speaks of its situation between 
Forts Northkill and Franklin. 

On February 5, 1758, Adj. Kern reports, in addition to the 
above, at Fort William Capt. Morgan, Lt. Humphreys, Ensign 
Harry 50 men, 30 province arms, 23 private guns, 75 lbs of 
powder, 80 lbs of lead, 14 days' provisions, 12 cartridges, and 
Jonas Seely as the Commissary of the Station. (Penn. Arch., 
iii, p. 340). 

The Journal of James Burd has this to say of the Fort : 

Friday, Feb. 24th, 1758. 
This morning sett out (from Reading) for Fort William, 


arrived at Peter Eodermils at 2 P. M., 15 miles from Reading, 
it snowed and blowed so prodigeously I stayed there all night. 

25th Saturday. 

March'd this morning, the snow deep, for Fort William, 
arrived at Fort William at 12 M. D., here was lieut. Hum- 
phreys & Ensign Hary, ordered a Review of the Garrison at 2 
P. M. ; at 2 P. M. Reviewed the Garrison & found 53 good men, 
difificient in Dissipline, stores 3 Quarter casks of poudder, 150 
It) of lead, 400 flints & 56 blankets, no arms fit for use, no 
kettles, nor tools, nor drum, 2 months Provision. 

Here I found a target erected ordered the Company to 
shout at the mark, sett them the Example myself by wheeling 
around & fireing by the word of Command. I shott a bullott 
into the Centre of the mark the size of a Dollar, distance 
100 yards. Some of them shott tolerable bad, most of their 
Arms are very bad. 

Ordered Cap't Morgan to continue to pattroll to Northkill 
& Alemingle. 

26th Sunday. 

Marched from hence at 10 A. M., went over the Mountains 
to Mr. Everitt's, where Captain Weatherholt is stationed. 
* * * (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 354). 

The Penn'a Gazette of September 1, 1757, says, ^'We hear 
from Berks County, that several Indians have lately been seen 
near Fort Lebanon ; and that on Sunday, the 21st August, the 
house and barn of Peter Semelcke were burnt, and three 
of his children carried off; himself, wife and one child, being 
from home at the time. This was done within two miles of 
the fort." 

The Gazette goes on to say, October 6 and 13, that their ac- 
counts from the frontiers, are most dismal; that some of the 
inhabitants are killed or carried off; houses burnt and cattle 
destroyed daily; that, at the same time, the people are af- 
flicted with severe sickness and die fast, so that in many places 
they are neither able to defend themselves, when attacked, 
or to run away. 

Our history of Fort Lebanon here ends. It is to be re- 


gretted that there is not extant a more detailed report of 
events at what was one of the important stations on the line 
of defense. 


Continuing along the northern base of the Blue Mountains, 
for about nineteen miles from Fort Lebanon, we reach the 
next garrison at Fort Franklin. 

This fort is of especial interest from the fact that it was 
one of those erected by order of Benjamin Franklin. Imme- 
diately after the massacre at Gnadenhutten (Weissport) in 
November, 1755, Franklin, accompanied by James Hamilton, 
later Governor of Pennsylvania, set out for the scene of opera- 
tions to arrange for the defense of that part of the Province. 
They were at Bethlehem on January 14, 1756, where sundry 
preparations wer made and orders given. Capt. Wayne was 
directed to build a fort at Gnadenhutten, and another com- 
pany raised, under Capt. Charles Foulk, to aid him in the 
work. On January 25th, this fort was in a fair state of com- 
pletion, the flag was hoisted in the midst of a general discharge 
of musketry and swivels, and the name of Fort Allen was 
given it by Mr. Franklin, who was present in person. He im- 
mediately sent Capt. Foulk "to build another, between this 
and Schuylkill Fort, which I hope will be finished (as Trexler 
is to Join him) in a week or 10 Days." (Col. Rec, vii, p. 

This tells us definitely when and by whom the station under 
consideration was erected. It was undoubtedly finished during 
the early part of February, 1756, and, when completed, was 
named Fort Franklin after Benjamin Franklin, even then a 
distinguished man and actively engaged in caring for the wel- 
fare of his adopted Province. 

The first reference we have to Fort Franklin is in the post- 
script of a letter from Wm. Edmonds to Sec'y K. Peters, writ- 
ten June 14th, 1756, in which he speaks of inclosing the copy 
of a letter sent there, which unfortunately is not extant (Penn. 
Arch., ii, p. 669). 
















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It is occasionally referred to as the Fort above Allemangle," 
because pi its location immediately across the mountain from 
Albany Township of Berks county. The name AUemangle 
or Albany means "All Wants," and was given because of the 
arid condition of part of the land. 

Commissary Jas. Young, whilst on his tour of inspection, 
visited Fort Franklin. The following account is taken from 
his journal: 

Fort above Alleminga,— At i past 3 P. M. (June 21st, 1756) 
we sett out with the former Escort & 2 of Cap't Morgan's 
Comply (from Fort Lebanon) for the Fort above Alleminga, 
Commanded by Lieu't Ingle (of Capt. Morgan's Company, who 
was relieved by Lieut. Sam'l Humphreys) ; at i past 7 we got 
there ; it is Ab't 19 miles N. E. from Fort Lebanon, the Koad a 
Narrow Path very Hilly and Swampy; ab't half way we came 
thro' a very thick and dangerous Pine Swamp; very few Plan- 
tations on this Koad, most of them Deserted, and the houses 
burnt down; ^ a mile to the Westward of this Fort is good 
Plantation, the people retires to the Fort every Night. This 
Fort stands ab't a mile from the North Mountain; only two 
Plantations near it. This Fort is a square ab't 40 foot, very 
ill staccaded; with 2 Logg houses at Opposite Corners for 
Bastions, all very unfit for Defence; the Staccades are very 
open in many Places, it stands on the Bank, of a Creek, the 
Woods clear for 120 yards; the Lieu't Kanges towards Fort 
Lebanon and Fort Allen ; ab't 4 times a Week ; much Thunder, 
Lightning, and Kain all Night. Provincial Stores: 28 G'd 
Muskets, 8 wants Kepair, 16 Cartooch Boxes, 8 lb Powder, 
24 m Lead, & 12 Bounds for 36 men, 36 Blankets, 1 Axe, 1 
Adse, 1 Auger, 2 Plains, 1 Hammer, 2 Shovels, 9 Small Tin 

June 22d — At 6 A. M. I ordered the People to fire at a 
mark; not above 4 in 25 hit the tree at the Distance of 85 
yards; at 7, Mustered them, found 25 Present, 2 Sick, 2 Ab- 
sent on Furlough, 2 Sent to Reading with a Prisoner, and 5 
at Fort Allen on Duty. Provisions, One Cask of Beef Ex- 
ceeding bad. Flower and Rum for 3 Weeks. At 8 A. M. We 
sett out for Fort Allen, at Gnadenhutten. * * * (Penn. 
Arch., ii, p. 677) . 


In his journal, under date of November 5, 1756, Col. Weiser 
makes mention of a warning which had been given him of a 
proposed attack of the Minisink Indians on Easton and the 
capture of Gov. Denny, who was there in Conference with 
Teedyuscung. It was reporte'd that the Minisink Tribe was 
very much averse to peace with the English, and, that if 
Teedyuscung showed any inclination to treat with their enemy, 
they proposed to kill both him and the Governor, lay waste 
Easton and then destroy Bethlehem, thus making themselves 
masters of the whole country. Col. Weiser immediately sent 
an express to Lieut. Engle, at Fort Franklin, to come with a 
detachment of 20 men, including a Sergeant, in all possible 
speed, to reinforce the Town Guard during the time His 
Honor, the Governor, should stay in Easton. (Penn. Arch., 
iii, p. 32). 

With great difficulty I succeeded in definitely and correctly 
locating Fort Franklin. I drove on various occasions through 
the entire neighborhood, covering many miles of territory, 
but without obtaining information which I considered suf- 
ficiently satisfactory. This part of the country is not thickly 
populated now, and was very sparsely settled then. I saw 
a number of very interesting buildings, many partly in ruin, 
which must date from the time of the French and Indian war. 
Not a few of them are still pierced with portholes. If any 
of them, however, have a history, at all unusual, I could not 
learn of it. At last I ascertained from a Mr. Joseph Miller, an 
intelligent, elderly man with an exceedingly good memory, 
living not far distant from Snydersville, that a place known 
as the ''Fort Field," amongst his elders, was to be found on 
the Bolich farm, now owned by Mr. J. W. Kistler, not far 
from West Penn Station, of the Lehigh and Schuylkill R. R. 
or, as sometimes called, the Lizard Creek Branch of the Le- 
high Valley R. R. I drove there instantly and was fortunate 
in meeting Mr. Jonas Hill, residing in the immediate vicinity 
of the spot, who at once confirmed Mr. Miller's statement and 
pointed out the exact location of the fort. Mr. Hill is about 
60 years old, and obtained the information from his father. 
He states that there can be no doubt of the fact, and, of this 
there can hardly be any question, as it corresponds in all re- 


spects with the information we have about it. Its isolated 
position will readily account for the general lack of knowledge 
concerning it. I may add that, later, I again visited the place, 
driving across the mountains from the site of Fort Everett, 
to still more fully satisfy myself on the subject, when I met 
Mr. Kistler, who corroborated the information obtained from 
Mr. Hill. 

The sketch herewith given shows more fully its position. 

Fort Franklin was situated on a hill, a part of what was at 
one time the Bolich Farm, now owned by J. Wesley Kistler. 
It had a most commanding view of the entire country. It 
was distant from Snydersville about f mile, on the North, and 
distant one mile from the base of the Blue Mountains on the 
South. It stood directly on the road across the mountain to 
Lynnport, the location of Fort Everett, but a few rods distant 
from the main road between Fort Allen and Weissport, and 
Fort Lebanon, at Auburn. At the base of the hill is a fine 
creek of water, coming from the mountain and emptying into 
Lizard creek, about | mile distant. It may be almost literally 
said that ^'it stood on the banks of a creek." It may be well, 
however, to correct, at this time, the error made by some 
writers, who have stated, without due investigation, that it 
stood on the banks of the Lizard creek, taking it for granted 
that when Commissary Jas. Young said it stood on the banks 
of a creek he means Lizard creek. It is well to take nothing 
for granted in this world until we are sure of its accuracy. 
If we did so there would be more real history written, and 
less romance. Its distance from Fort Lebanon is some nine- 
teen miles, and from Fort Allen some fourteen miles, all as 

We could wish, from the name it bore, that this fort, might 
have been amongst the more important ones. Unfortunately 
such was not the case. Poorly constructed in the first place, 
in the next place its location was in a part of the Province as 
yet but poorly settled. Being north of the Mountain, the dis- 
trict was entirely open to the assaults of the savages. Already 
many of the plantations, so called, had been deserted; build- 
ings and property had been destroyed or were fast going to 
ruin, and their owners had fled across the mountains to Al- 


bany Township, or elsewhere, to find a more thickly settled 
region and greater safety. I think it is doubtful whether 
the fort would ever have been built except to fill in the long 
gap in the chain of defences between Forts Allen and Leba- 

We are not then surprised to read what Col. Weiser wrote 
November 24, 1756, after the Conference with the Indians at 
Easton was over. He was then at Fort Allen. He says: 

^'I took my leave of them (certain Indians) and they of me 
very canditly; Capt. Arnd sent an Escort with me of twenty 
men to Fort Franklin, where we arrived at three o'Clock in 
the afternoon, it being about fourteen miles distant from Fort 
Allen. I saw that the Fort was not Teanable, and the House 
not finished for the Soldiers, and that it could not be of any 
Service to the Inhabitant Part, there being a great Mountain 
between them. I ordered Lieut'n Engel to Evacuate it, and 
come to the South side of the Hills himself with Nineteen 
men at John Eberts Esq'r., and the Eest being Sixteen men 
more, at John Eckenroad, both places being about three miles 
distant from each other, and both in the Township of Linn, 
Northampton (Lehigh) County, until otherwise ordered. 

23d. Left Fort Franklin. The Lieut., with Ten men, es- 
corted me as far as Probst's, about Eight mile, where I dis- 
charged him, and arrived at Eeading that Evening." (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 68). 

Whether the garrison was entirely removed at once, or 
whether, as is more likely, it was still occupied, after a fashion, 
by some of Capt. Wetterholt's men, we cannot positively say. 
It is certain, however, that it was more and more neglected 
if not actually abandoned. To such an extent was this true 
that the remaining settlers, for some still remained, felt obliged 
to present the following petition, which was read in the Pro- 
vincial Council on Saturday, May 7th, 1757 : 

To the Honourable William Denny, Esq'r, Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania, 
and Counties of New Castle, Kent & Sussex, on Delaware, &c. 

The Petition of George Gilbert, Adam Spittleman, Henry 


Hauptman, Casper Langeberger, Nicholas Kind, George Merte, 
Henry Norbech, the widow of Mark Grist, Deceased, the widow 
of George Krammer Deceased, (which said Grist and Krammer 
have lost their Lives in the Defence of their Country lass fall) 
William Ball, Phillip Annes, Jacob Leisser, Will'm Weigand, 
Anthony Krum, Philip SchoU, Jacob Keim, John Frist, Philip 
Kirsbaum, William Gabel, John Wissemer, George Wartman, 
Jacob Richards, Christopher Speeher, John Scheeffer & George 
Sprecher, all Inhabitants of Berks County [now Schuylkill], 
within four miles of and about Fort Franklin, over the blue 
Mountains : 
Most Humbly Sheweth — 

That your Petitioners are informed that Fort Franklin afore- 
said is to be removed to this Side of the said mountains and 
a considerable way into Albany Township; 

That if in Case the said Fort is to be Removed your Peti- 
tioners will be Obliged to Desert their Plantations, for their 
Lives and Estates will then lye at Stake, and a greater part 
of this Province will lye waste and your Petitioners humbly 
conceives that it would be the Safest way to have the said 
Fort continued & rebuilt, as it is very much out of order and 

Therefore your Petitioners humbly prays your Honour to 
take the Premises in Consideration and Issue such orders as 
will Prevent the Removal of the said Fort & order a Suffi't 
Number of Men in it, and to grant your Petitioners such other 
relief as to you in your wisdom shall seem Mete, and your Pe- 
titioners, as in Duty bound, will Ever Pray for your Eternal 

Signed at the Request & in behalf of all the petitioners. 


(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 153.) 

About the same time a petition was presented by the peo- 
ple of Lynn Township, on the South side of the mountain, 
praying that Lieut. Weather hold, who was daily expecting 
marching orders, be not sent away with his detachment. (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 152.) 


These several petitions seem to have had their weight with 
the Government. Fort Franklin was put in a better condi- 
tion and soldiers retained there. In November, 1757, it fur- 
nished its quota for Col. Weiser's guard at Easton, during the 
Conference with the Indians at that time. (Penn. Arch., iii, 
p. 218.) Shortly after however, it seems to have been again 
abandoned, probably about the end of 1757, when there came 
a lull in the frequency of Indian depredations. When James 
Burd made his visits to the various forts in February, 1758, 
his journal makes no mention whatever of Fort Franklin. 
True, he directs Capt. Morgan to continue patrolling between 
his fort, Lebanon, and Alemingle, but we must remember that 
Alemingle refers to Albany Township south of the mountains, 
and undoubtedly Fort Everett is meant at this time. Fort 
Franklin was the ''Fort above Alemingle,'' and never at Ale- 
mingle. Then again Mr. Burd speaks of leaving Fort Allen 
and arriving at "Lieut. Ingle's Post," 15 miles distant. Whilst 
Lieut. Engle had formerly commanded at Fort Franklin, a 
moment's thought will show that what is here called "Lieut. 
Ingle's Post" could not have been Fort Franklin. Mr. Burd 
had left Fort Everett, continued East to Fort Allen, and was 
now leaving Fort Allen to cover territory towards the Dela- 
ware. No other construction is possible. Lieut. Engle had 
long since, in May, 1757, been transferred from Fort Franklin 
to the command of Fort Norris. Besides the distance from 
Fort Franklin to Fort Allen was but fourteen miles and not 
fifteen, which is the distance from Fort Allen to Fort Norris. 

No, our history of Fort Franklin ends with the year 1757. 
If we may judge from the published records, it did not play 
such a part in the history of our State as did its great name- 
sake. For that we dare not blame it or its faithful garrison, 
but can only attribute it to the force of circumstances. Had 
the necessity for action come, as at other places, the duty 
would doubtless have been faithfully performed. It was one 
of the regular chain of forts and its position should be 
marked; I would recommend a tablet, in close proximity to 
its site, along the public road to Lynnport. 

I have said that in this general neighborhood are many 
points of interest, of which, however, the history is unknown. 

J^NVH:! IHQ^ o^ 

^Ob^SN^X OX QVOy — 


? s 


X 2 ay 3 
















I picked up, nevertheless, several traditions which are worthy 
of note. Mr. Chas. Focht, at New Einggold, a gentleman 80 
years old, was told by a Mr. Zimmerman some 60 years ago, 
the latter then an old man, that the settlers were accustomed 
to take refuge in a mill, known 60 years ago as Stein's Mill, 
now as Stout's Mill, located about 2 miles S. W. of Snyders- 
ville, near the base of the Blue Mountains, on a creek which 
flows into Lizard Creek. In this vicinity the Indians had cap- 
tured a Mr. Fies and his son. The bones of Fies were discov- 
ered a long time after, about J mile from his house, being 
recognized as his by sundry buttons and a frying pan lying 
near by. The son was never heard of. This incident was cor- 
roborated by Mr. Abr. Focht, his brother, who also mentio-ned 
a block house of refuge on what was formerly the Schwartz 
farm, but is now in the Borough of New Einggold, about i 
mile east of the railroad station. 

Mrs. Koch, the mother of Mr. H. B. Koch, who is proprietor 
of the excellent New Einggold Hotel, an intelligent old lady, 
73 years of age, called my attention to a place where persons 
had been buried during the Indian War. They were sup- 
posed to have been Indians, but were more likely settlers 
who had been killed by them. She had been told about it by 
her grandmother who lived at the time. It is on the upper 
side of the Summer Mountain, about 3 miles directly north 
of Kepners, but a short distance from the house of Mr. Kelch- 
ner, and also near the creek which empties into Lizard Creek 
at Snydersville. I visited the spot, and found, as I had been 
told, that it was kept sacred and never ploughed over. 

Through the kindness of Mr. H. B. Koch I have also been 
informed by Mr. E. F. Leidy, an old gentleman of that locality 
who obtained his information from a Mr. Shellhamer, that a 
house of refuge, or so called Indian Fort, stood about 1^ miles 
north of Kepnersville, of which part of the stone wall can yet 
be seen. 


This fort is located very near the town of Lynnport, in Lynn 
township, of Lehigh county. During the Indian wars the 


territory covered by the adjacent township of Albany, in 
Berks county and Lynn township, in what was then North- 
ampton county, from which Lehigh county was taken, was 
known as ''Allemeangel," meaning ''All- Wants," from the arid 
character of a part of the land, as previously mentioned. 

That part of the State was already well settled, and, with 
the outbreak of Indian hostilities in the Fall of 1755, an es- 
tablished military organization became a matter of necessity. 
Plans were accordingly laid and Benjamin Franklin sent up 
the Lehigh Valley to execute them. Our introduction to the 
subject now under consideration is an extract from a letter 
written Jan. 14, 1756, from Bethlehem, by Franklin to the 
Governor, in which he says, 'To secure Lyn and Heidelberg 
Township, whose Inhabitants were just on the Wing, I took 
Trexler's Company into Pay, (he had been before commis- 
sion'd by Mr. Hamilton) and I commissioned Wetterholt, who 
commanded a Watch of 44 men before in the Pay of the Prov- 
ince, ordering him to compleat his Company." (Penn. Arch., 
ii, p. 549.) 

It also mentions the name of Wetterholt, which will appear 
before the reader more or less frequently in connection with 
the history of Lehigh and Northampton Counties. There were 
two Provincial olbcers of the same name, who were brothers. 
From "Murders by the Indians in Northampton County," 
written by Joseph J. Mickley in 1875, I glean the following 
brief account of each : 

"Johann Nicholaus Wetterholt arrived in Philadelphia, Oc- 
tober 22d, 1754, in the Ship Halifax, Thomas Coatam, captain, 
from Eotterdam. He was either a Hollander or a German, 
most likely the latter. In the same ship came a large number 
of German emigrants. He entered the military service, prob- 
ably soon after his arrival in this country, as it appears by 
his having been commissioned Captain in the First Battalion 
Pennsylvania Kegiment, December 21st, 1755, and by the dif- 
ferent sums of money paid to him for his and his company's 
services, and for provisions, viz: 


1756— April 29— To Captain John Nicliolaus 
Wetterholt, for his Com- 
pany's pay, £332 3s. Od. 

1756 — May 28 — ^^To Captain John Nicholaus 
Wetterholt, for pay for him- 
self and Company and allow- 
ance for thirty-six guns fur- 
nished by his men, £166 5s. 6d. 

1756 — June 21 — Samuel Depuy, in full, for his 
account for purchasing provi- 
sions for a detachment of 
Captain Wetterholt's Com- 
pany, £33 Is. 8d. 

1756 — Dec'r 15 — Samuel Depuy's order for vict- 
ualling Captain Wetterholt's 
Company, &c., £108 Is. 8d. 

In the year 1762 Captain Nicholaus Wetterholt resided 
in Heidelberg Township, Northampton County, now Lehigh, 
and his name is on the tax list of 1764, at the same place." 

"Johann Jacob Wetterholt came to this country in the 
same vessel with his brother Nicholaus. He was commis- 
sioned Lieutenant in Major Parson's Town Guard, December 
21st, 1755; in April, 19th, 1756, as Lieutenant, stationed at 
Dietz's; and as Captain, in September 21st, of the same year; 
1757, September 2d, he was paid, for enlisting 53 men in the 
Provincial service, £88 6s. 6d. 

Captain Jacob Wetterholt possessed undaunted courage, 
which was accounted for in his firmly believing he had the 
power of making himself invulnerable (kugelfest) ; that is 
that he could not be killed by a gun shot; he was therefore 
well suited for the military service on the frontier. (He 
bravely met his death, however, in 1763, as will appear later.) 

In 1762, he resided in Lynn Township, now Lehigh County; 
his widow still resided there in 1764, as per tax list. George 
Wetterholt, formerly Sheriff of Lehigh County, living in 
AUentown, is his grandson." 

It so chances that the two brothers, both eventually of the 
same rank, operated in the same general territory. They 


practically had charge of the country along the southern base 
of the Blue Kange from Fort Everett to the Delaware Kiver, 
and both reported to the same superior officer, Timothy Hors- 
field. Unfortunately, in the records of the time, the last 
name only is given in most cases, so that it becomes difficult 
in many instances to know which is meant. Wherever pos- 
sible I will endeavor to specify the one intended. It may 
be generally taken for granted, in the case of Fort Everett, 
that wherever Captain Wetterholt is mentioned it refers to 
Mcholaus, and where the term "Lieutenant" is used it refers 
to Jacob. 

Whilst it is true that the district of Allemeangel, south of 
the Blue Mountains, was quite populous, and that therefore. 
Fort Everett occupied an important position, yet, unfortu- 
nately, we have practically nothing recorded concerning it. 
This was doubtless owing to the fact that it was the only de- 
fensive station on that side of the mountain between the 
Schuylkill and Lehigh Elvers, and, because the territory was 
so large, the garrison was ranging around the country liter- 
ally all the time. Events, of any consequence, in and about 
the fort were probably, of necessity, few. We need not be 
surprised therefore to read much of the two Wetterholts and 
their doings, and but little of Fort Everett. 

In fact. Fort Everett held somewhat of an anomalous posi- 
tion. Captain Wetterholt, who had charge of that part of 
the country, seems to have been in it but little, and it is even 
possible that it was not constantly occupied by a garrison of 

Whilst many occurrences were continually taking place, 
some of which will be given later, the first actual mention 
of the station is by Col. Weiser, on November 24th, 1756. He 
had just visited Fort Franklin and seen its poor condition; 
he also saw that most of the inhabitants lived south of the 
mountain, and concluded that its condition was of but little 
value. He accordingly says, "I ordered Lieu't Engle to Evac- 
uate it, and come to the South side of the Hills himself with 
Nineteen men, at John Eberts, Esq'r, and the Best being Six- 
teen men more, at John Eckenroad, both places being about 


three miles distant from each other, and both in the Township 
of Linn, Northampton County, nntill otherways ordered." 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 68.) 

We do not know definitely whether Lieut. Engle did actually 
proceed as directed, or not, but it is altogether likely he 
did, for whilst Fort Franklin was not entirely abandoned 
until the Fall of 1757, we have no reason to doubt that during 
the latter part of 1757 it was certainly in charge of Capt. Wet- 
terholt, and it is therefore possible that he may have gar- 
risoned it even previous to that time, and that Lieut. Engle 
occupied Fort Everett as originally ordered. Even if such were 
the case Lieut. Engle was ordered away in the latter part of 
May, 1757, to take command of Fort Norris, and Fort Everett 
once more resumed its former status. 

During this period the following petition was forwarded 
to the Governor. Whilst eminating from Lynn Township, it 
was intended to apply, in a general sense, to the whole of 
Northampton County, south of the moutains, as far east as 
the Delaware: 

Northampton County, Lynn Township, May 4 Day, 1757. 

To His Onner, the Governor and Commander in Cheaf of 
the Provence of Pennsylvania : 

Youre Most Humbly S'vant — 

These is to Acquant youre Honner of the Difficultyes, Hard- 
ships and Dangers that youre Poore Pertitioners Ly Under 
at this Present Time, Being the Frunteeairs, and being yester 
Day A Coppy of an Express Sent to us and others from Mr. 
Parsons, Major, Which he reseaved from Cornel Wiser, that 
He was Credebly Informed by A frind Indian that a Grat 
Body of French and Indians Was one there march from Ahio 
Fort, Desined against Som Parts of Pennsylvania, Minnesink, 
Patter Co. and som Murder Has Lately ben Don at the Minne- 
sinks in this County, and Like Wise at Scoolkill in Barks 
County, and this is what wee was Desired and Warned to be 
one of our Cards, and to associate our Selves and others Imme- 
diately into Companies under Discreet officers of oure one 
Choice, But as youre Honner Vere well knows the Natour and 
Mis Manegment of the Generaty Part of the People, when that 


these are at thaire one freedom, without Some Paresns in 
Shap Authority to Compel them, and further wee Do Think it 
A Great Hard Ship that wee the Frontears, that is Almost 
Already Euened By being Cep So much out of oure Laboure. 
Being the Poorer Sort of People at the Beginning, and the 
Loer Inhabentance the mean time Lyes Quiat and Ease and 
out of Danger, and wee Desire and Humbly Beg that your 
Honner Will Take, oure Case into Consideration, and Cause 
Us to be Better Garded by Soldiers, at the expence of the 
Provence, while the Loer Inhabitance will be obliged to Baire 
Part of the Burden as Well as wee, and wee Do think that if 
the Gerresens that is Now Lying over the Blue Mountaine in 
the Forts was all Eemoved to This side of the Mountaine and 
Laid 4, 6, 8 or 10 men in a Good House at Not a grate Dis- 
tance apart, and a Koad Cut from one Plantation to the other, 
of About 3 or 4 Perches Broad, as the Plantations is Prete 
Neaire to Gether, on this Side of the Mountaine. We do think 
that it would Cause the Indians to be Afraid to Com in small 
Companies over the Koad, as theaire yousel way is to Goo, for 
faire of Being taken agoing Back, for when Ever there is Mur- 
der Don within the Eoad there must be A Good Watch Cept 
on that Koad to Take them as they Pas Back, and by Larem 
Guns there Can be many People Cald to Gether in Short 
Space of Time Besides the Soldiers, and further, the People in 
General is Kemoved from the other Sid of the Mountain and 
Dayre Not Goo to Live on theaire Plantations til Better times 
Excepting 2 or 3 famelyes Kound Each Fort, and from the 
other Settlers on this Side of the Mountaine to the Forts is 
som 10, Som 16 miles to Fort Franklen, is to Fort Allen 10, 
to Fort Norres 16, to Fort Hambelton 16 miles. So that in 
Case of Nesety the Soldiers Can't Com to oure Assistance, nor 
Wee to Theairs Not in any Kesenable Time, Til the Eneme 
wold Be Gone Againe, for Wheaire they fal in They make No 
Long Stay, and Besides the Hills and Hallows is so bad over 
the Mountaine that the Indians might Destroy all the Wagens 
and Provishens Coming to the Fort, if they take Care to Way- 
ley them in Som Deep Hallows, and the Soldiers as they are 
Scouting and marching from one Fort to the other, and at 
Present Leftenant Wetherhols Lyes in our Township with 


About 40 Men Against Fort Franklin, which is Now Empty 
of Soldiers, and he Expects Every Day to Keceave order to 
March from us, there wil then Ly open without any Sholders 
abot 28 M'lds that there will be no Soldiers, and youre Pati- 
sionners Do umbly Beg that youre Honner Would Take oure 
Case Into Consideration, and not Let these Soldiers be Ee- 
moved But Bather order more in these Parts, as in Dute 
Bound Wee shall Ever Pray. 

(Signed by 41 persons, whose names appear chiefly in Ger- 
man). (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 151). 

From this we see that Lieut. Wetterholt was then in Lynn 
Township '^against Fort Franklin," that is south of Fort 
Franklin. The petition of the people, urging the retention of 
soldiers with them, was successful. In February, 1758, Ad- 
jutant Kern reports Capt. Wetterholt still on duty at Fort 
Everett with 41 men, distant from Fort William 12 miles, and 
having 12 men stationed at ^'A Block House," 10 miles from 
Fort Everett and 20 miles from Fort Allen. The detailed 
report shows at Fort Everett, Capt. Wetterholt, 41 men, 22 
Province arms, 21 Private guns, 4 ms. provisions, 10 cart- 
ridges, and at the Block House Lieut, Geiger (absent), who had 
relieved Lieut. Hyndshaw then at duty at Teads Block House, 
below wind Gap, 12 men, 8 Province Arms, 5 Private Guns, 
4 mos. provisions, 8 cartridges. Jacob Levan, Esq'r, was their 
Commissary. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 340). 

Fort Everett was visited by Jas. Burd during his tour of 
inspection, in February, 1758. His journal gives the following 
record : 

26th Sunday. 

Marched from hence (Fort William) at 10 A. M., went over 
the Mountains to Mr. Everett's, where Captain Weatherholt 
is stationed, the snow exceedingly deep could make little way, 
at 3 P. M. arrived at Valentine Phileprots, 20 miles, here I 
stay all night. 

27th Munday. 

Marched this morning at 8 A. M. for Mr. Everett's, arrived 
at 9 A. M., 4 miles, ordered a Review of that part of the Com- 


pany that is here, found Cap't Weatherholt, Lieut. Geiger & 
24 meuj 3 being sick & absent, 3 months' Provisions, 5 pounds 
powder, no lead, each man has a pound of powder in his Car- 
touch box & lead in proportion, no Kettles, nor blankets, 25 
Province Arms. 

Ordered to Cap't Weatherholt 56 blankets, 25 lb of powder 
& 50 bars of lead & 400 flints, Cap't Weatherholt to Scout to 
the Westward 10 miles & to the eastward 10 miles, Lieut. 
Geiger from thence to his post in Coll. Armstrong's Battalion. 

Marched from hence to Fort Allen at 11 A. M., gott to 
the top of the Blue Mountain at 2 P. M., from hence saw AUa- 
mingle, it is a fine Country, but the Country on the North side 
of the Mountain is an intire barren wilderness, not capable of 

Arrived at Fort Allen at i after 2 P. M. a prodigious Hilly 
place, and poor land, 15 miles from Mr. Everett's, ordered a 
review of this Garrison tomorrow at 8 A. M. (Penn. Arch., 
iii, p. 355). 

The accompanying topographical map gives the exact loca- 
tion of Fort Everett. 

It stood in what is now a level, ploughed field, about ^ mile 
north of Lynnport, Lynn township, Lehigh county, distant 
about 150 feet from the house of M. K. Henry, a tenant of Mrs. 
David Stein, to the East, and about 250 feet from the creek to 
the West, which flows past the Slate works and empties into 
Ontelaunee creek. A spring, but a few feet south of where 
the fort was erected, marks the position of what was then a 
well of water. It was a blockhouse, about 25 ft. x 30 ft. It 
stood on the property of John Everett, a man of prominence 
at the time, and of the same family as Edw. Everett, of Massa- 
chusetts, whence he came. Whether, however, the building 
was the house of Mr. Everett, or whether the fort was a sepa- 
rate building erected on his place, it is difficult to say. From 
what I could learn I am inclined to believe that it was a sepa- 
rate building, erected as a house of refuge and defense, con- 
sisting of a log house surrounded by the regulation stockade. 
In that case we may very properly fix upon the beginning of 
1756 as the time of its birth, otherwise we are unable to name 


any date fixing the time of its erection. Mr. Henry stated 
that, even to this day, he occasionally ploughs up some of the 
foundation stones. 

For this information I am indebted to Mr. Charles Everett, 
residing near the spot, whose great grandfather was a brother 
of John Everett. Mr. Charles Everett is now 75 years old. 
He was told all about the fort, and the soldiers which occupied 
it, by his father, Jacob, who died 25 years ago, 80 years old; 
also by his grandmother, Mary Miller, who died 60 years 
ago, aged about 70 years. 

I would recommend a tablet to mark the position of Fort 
Everett, to be located by the public road near the site. 

It will be remembered that mention was made of orders 
given Lieut. Engel to proceed himself to Fort Everett, and to 
send a detachment of sixteen men to John Eckenroad's, three 
miles distant. I made diligent inquiry concerning this latter 
place, but, whilst many had heard of the Eckenroth family, 
none ever knew of a fort at his house. There certainly was 
none. If anything his own house was merely used temporarily 
as a station. 

Besides Mr. Eckenroth's house I also learned of several 
other interesting places between New Tripoli and Lynnport. 
One of these is the old block-house at Benj. Oswald's, which I 
visited. It is a curious old relic, well worth examination. 
The building is one story high^ now weather-boarded on the 
outside, but inside almost exactly the same as it was 150 
years ago. Its preservation, unaltered, is owing to the fact 
that it is only used as a wash house and for storage purposes. 
The hugh old fire place still stands as of old, and over the 
door is cut a port hole at an angle to command the entrance. 
It was then the home of a Mr. Seisloch, who was killed whilst 
fleeing away from it. It stands about one mile from New 
Tripoli. The above information Mr. Oswald, who is 65 years 
old, obtained from his father, Benj. Oswald, who died 21 years 
ago, at the age of 75. 

Sam'l Eeitz, 67 years old, living about one mile beyond 
Lynnport on the road to New Tripoli, says there was a house 
of refuge on the bank of Ontelaunee creek, right down from the 
dwelling of Cornelius Peter. He also stated that immediately 


in front of his own home there stood a similar building, hav- 
ing a cellar, the entrance to which was covered by a large 
stone. In this cellar the people would secrete their effects 
when obliged to flee away. He was told these facts by his 
grandfather, Lawrence Keitz, who died over 50 years ago, aged 
nearly 80 years. 

The vicinity of Fort Everett was not exempt from its scenes 
of violence and death. 

Timothy Horsfield writes to Gov. Denny from Bethlehem, 
November 30th, 1756, that "John Holder came here this Even- 
ing from Allemangle, and Informed me that last Sunday 
Evening, ye 28th Inst, three Indians Came to the House of a 
Certain Man Named Schldsser, and Nockt at the Door, the 
People within called who is there? Answer was made, A 
good Friend; they within not Opening the Door, they Nockt 
Again, they within answer'd Who is there? Noi Answer 
being made from Without, Then one of the Men Named Stone- 
brook, Lookt Out of the window, when an Indian Discharged a 
gun and kill'd him on the Spot. They then Open'd the Door, 
the Woman & two Children Endeavoring to Escape, and the 
Indians pursued & took Both the Children; One of the Men 
Fired at the Indians, and Saw One of them fall, when one of 
the Gairls he had possession of, made her Escape from him, 
but the other they took away ; the Indian y't was fired at 
which fell Cr^^ed Out Very much, but in a Short time he got 
up & made off. 

The above said Holder Informs me he had this Acco't from 
good Authority, said Schlosser's House is situated in Alle- 
mangle." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 771). 

We now give a characteristic letter which, in itself, would 
show that it came from Jacob Wetterholt, even if his name 
were not signed to it. It is written to Major William Par- 
sons at Easton, and is headed: 

(Lehigh) Northampton County, Lynn Township, July 9, 1757. 
Honored Sir: 

These are to Acquant you of A murder Hapened this Day 
at the Houce of Adam Clance, in said Township of Lynn, 
whaire three or fore Nabors was Cutting said man's Corn; 
as they Was Eating thaire Dinner they waire fell one By A 


Perty of Saviges, Indians, and Five of the Whits Took to there 
Heals, two men, two Women, and one Gerl, and Got saf out 
of theire hands. Was killed and Scalped, Martin Yager and 
his Wife, and John Croushores, wife and one Child, and the 
Wife of Abraham Secies and one Child of one Adam Clauce and 
the Wife of John Coucehere, and the wife of Abram Secies was 
Sculpt and is yet Alive, But Badly wounded, one Shot Thro' 
the Sid and the other in the Thy, and two Children kild Be- 
longing to said Croushere, and one to said Secies, and one 
Belonging to Philip Antone Not Sculpt, and this Was Don at 
Least three Miles within the out side Settlers, and 4 miles 
from John Everett's, and Philip Antone's wife was one that 
Took her Tilit and came horn and acquainted her husband, 
and he came and Acquainted me, and I went Emeaditly to 
the Place with Seven men Besides my Self and Saw the Mur- 
der, But the Indians was Gon and I Derectly Purs'ed them 
About 4 Miles and Came Up with them in the thick Groves 
weaire Wee met with Mne Indians, and one Sprung Behind 
a Tree and took Site at me and T run Direct at him, and 
another one the sid Flast at me, and then Both took to there 
Heals, and I shot one as I Goge Thro' the Body, as he fell on 
his face. But I Loaded and after another that was Leding A 
maire, and ye meane time he Got up and Eun away and I fired 
on the other, and I think I shot him in ye Buttux, and my 
Soldiers had ippertunity to shot three times, and then they 
Got out of oure Site in the thick Groves, and Wee Cold Not 
find them No more, But I Got from them one maire and two 
Saddels, one Bridel and Halter, & on^e Bag with a Cag of Stil 
Licker in it, and Cloths and one Brace Cittel and fore Indian 
Cake Baked in the ashes of wheat meal and to Aquat you fur- 
ther, that I have Several New Soldiers that has No Guns, and 
were Little Powder and Led, and I have sent this Express to 
you Hoping that you Wold Help me with Arms and Amme- 
nishan, and so I Eemaine yours friend and Umble Servent 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 211). JACOB WETHEEHOLD. 

Eeferring to this sad occurrence, Col. Weiser writes Gov. 
Denny from Easton on July 15th : 

*'In coming along thro' the Maxitawny, I heard a melan- 


choUy Account of Ten People being killed by the Enemy In- 
dians. They passed by two or three Plantations on this side 
of the mountain before they attacked. A certain woman ran 
off towards her Place and told her Husband of the attack, 
who cut the Gears off his Horses then in the Plow, and rid 
as fast as he could to Lieut. Wetherholts, about three miles 
off. Lieut. Wetherholt, with a small Detachment, I am told 
Seven in number, came away immediately, and came to the 
Place where the murder was committed, where, by that time, 
a number of People had gathered. Wetherholts proposed to 
pursue the Enemy but none would go with him, so he took his 
Seven men & pursued the Enemy a few miles from the House 
& found the Place where they rested themselves, and in ab't 
three miles He overtook them in thick Brushes, at a very little 
Distance. It seems they saw one another at once. One of 
the Indians was before hand with Wetherholts & aimed at 
him, but his Gun flashed. Wetherholt, a moment after, fired 
at the Indians, and thinks he hit him, but is not sure. Several 
Guns were fired by our People but did no Execution, and 
the Indians Guns missing Fire they ran off & left two Horses 
behind them, one belonging to the man they killed, laden with 
the best of his Household Goods." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 218). 

In a letter written by Valentine Probst to Jacob Levan, of 
Maxatawney, dated February 15, 1756, he gives the following 
account of another murder : 
Mr. Levan: 

I cannot omit writing about the dreadful circumstances of 
our township, Albany [see this under Fort Henry also]. The 
Indians came yesterday morning, about eight o'clock, to Fred- 
erick Eeichelderfer's house, as he was feeding his horses, and 
two of the Indians ran upon him, and followed him into a 
field ten or twelve perches off; but he escaped and ran to- 
wards Jacob Gerhart's house, with a design to fetch some 
arms. When he came near Gerhart's, he heard a lamentable 
cry. Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus! — ^which made him run back to- 
wards his own house; but before he got quite home, he saw 
his house and stable in flames; and heard all the cattle bellow- 
ing, and thereupon ran away again. 


Two of his children were shot, one of them was found dead 
in his field, the other was found alive, and brought to Haken- 
brook's house, but died three hours after. All his grain and 
cattle are burnt up. At Jacob Gerhart's thej have killed one 
man, two women, and six children. Two children slipped 
under the bed; one of which was burned; the other escaped, 
and ran a mile to get to the people. We desire help, or we 
must leave our homes. 


Mr. Levan immediately repaired to Albany Township, but 
before he reached the scene of horror, additional intelligence 
was received by him of other murders. In a letter from him 
to James Eead and Jonas Seely, of Eeading, he says : "When 
I had got ready to go with my neighbors from Maxatawney, 
to see what damage was done in Albany, three men that had 
seen the shocking affair, came and told me, that eleven were 
killed, eight of them burnt, and the other three found dead 
out of the fire. An old man was Scalped, the two others, 
little girls, were not scalped." (Rupp, p. 58). 

On the 24th of March following, ten wagons went to Alle- 
maengle (Albany) to bring down a family with their effects, 
and as they were returning, about three miles below George 
Zeisloff's, were fired upon by a number of Indians from both 
sides of the road; upon which the wagoners left their wagons 
and ran into the woods, and the horses frightened at the fir- 
ing and terrible yelling of the Indians ran down a hill and 
brake one of the wagons to pieces. That the enemy killed 
George Zeisloff and his wife, a lad of twenty, a boy of twelve, 
also a girl of fourteen years old, four of whom they scalped. 
That another girl was shot in the neck and through the 
mouth and scalped, notwithstanding all of which she got off. 
That a boy was stabbed in three places, but the wounds were 
not thought to be mortal. That they killed two of the horses, 
and five are missing, with which it thought the Indians 
carried off the most valuable goods that were in the wagon." 
(Penn'a Gazette, April 1, 1756). 

In November, 1756, the Indians carried off the wife and 


three children of Adam Burns, the youngest child being only 
four weeks old. In June, 1757, they murdered one Adam 
Trump. They took Trump's wife and his son, a lad nineteen 
years old, prisoners, but the woman escaped, though upon her 
flying she was so closely pursued by one of the Indians (of 
whom there were seven) that he threw his tomahawk at her 
and cut her badly in the neck. (Kupp, p. 124). 

The following extract from a letter written by James Read, 
from Eeading, June 25th, 1757, refers to the Trump murder: 
"Last night eTacob Levan, Esq., of Maxatawney, came to see 
me and showed me a letter of the 22d inst. from Lieuten- 
ant Engel, dated in Allemangel, by which he advised Mr. Levan 
of the murder of one Adam Trump in Allemangel, by Indians, 
that evening, and that they had taken Trump's wife and his 
son, a lad nineteen years old, prisoners; but the woman es- 
caped, though upon her flying, she was so closely pursued by 
one of the Indians, (of which there were seven) that he threw 
his tomahawk at her, and cut her badly in the neck, but 'tis 
hoped not dangerously. This murder happened in as great a 
thunderstorm as has happened for twenty years past; which 
extended itself over a great part of this and Northampton 
counties. ***** 

I had almost forgot to mention (but I am so hurried just 
now, 'tis no wonder), that the Indians after scalping Adam 
Trump left a knife, an^ a halbert, or a spear, fixed to a pole of 
four feet, in his body. (Rupp, p. 70). 

In March, 1756, the Indians laid the house and barn of 
Barnabas Seitle in ashes, and the mill of Peter Conrad, and 
killed Mrs. Neytong, the wife of Baltser Neytong, and took 
his son, a lad of eight years old, a captive. Next morning 
Seitle's servant informed Gapt. Morgan of the injury done by 
the Indians, whereupon the Captain and seven men went in 
pursuit of the enemy, but did not find any. On his return 
he met a person named David Howell, who told him that 
when on his way to the watch-house, these Indians shot five 
times at him — the last shot he received a bullet through his 

And on March 24th, the house of Peter Kluck, about four- 


teen miles from Eeading, was set on fire by the savages, and 
the whole family killed — while the flames were still ascend- 
ing, the Indians assaulted the house of one Lindenman, in 
which there were two men and a woman, all of whom ran up 
stairs, where the woman was shot dead through the roof. 
The men then ran out of the house to engage the Indians, 
when Lindenman was shot in the neck, and the other through 
the jacket. Upon this Lindenman ran towards the Indians, 
two of whom only were seen, and shot one of them in the 
back, when he fled and he and his companion scalped him and 
brought away his gun and knife. (C. Saure's German Paper, 
March, 1756). 

About the same time the Indians carried off a young lad 
named John Schoep, about nine years old, whom they took by 
night, seven miles beyond the Blue Mountain; where, accord- 
ing to the statement of the lad, the Indians kindled a fire, tied 
him to a tree, took off his shoes and put moccasins on his feet ; 
— that they prepared themselves some mush, but gave him 
none. After supper they marched on further. The same In- 
dians took him and another lad between them, and went 
beyond the second mountain, having gone six times through 
streams of water, and always carried him across. The second 
evening they again struck up fire, took off his moccasins, 
and gave him a blanket to cover himself; but at midnight, 
when all the Indians were fast asleep, he made his escape, 
and by daybreak had traveled about six miles. He passed on 
that day, sometimes wading streams neck-deep, in the direc- 
tion of the Blue Mountain. That night he stayed in the 
woods. The next day, exhausted and hungry, he arrived by 
noon at Uly Meyer's plantation, where Charles Folk's company 
lay (probably at or near Fort Franklin), where they wished 
him to remain till he had regained strength, when they would 
have conducted him to his father. He was accordingly sent 
home. (0. Saure's German Paper, March, 1756). 

The next place which properly follows Fort Everett is the 



With its consideration we can, at the same time, carry on 
somewhat consecutively other matters with which the Wet- 
terholt brothers were concerned. 

Strictly speaking, it is hardly proper to denominate this sta- 
tion as a fort. It was merely a blockhouse, erected in the 
latter part of 1755 by various families in its neighborhood, 
and at no time occupied by any considerable number of sol- 
diers. Yet, nevertheless, it stood at a most important position, 
and, whilst it so chanced that it was permitted to add but a 
small contribution to the pages of history, yet it might well 
have been otherwise. We will, however, let the record speak 
for itself. 

We are ali^eady aware that after the Gnadenhutten massa- 
cre, and first outbreak of hostilities, Benjamin Franklin and 
James Hamilton were sent up the Lehigh Kiver to arrange 
protection for the settlers. In his letter of January 26, 1756, 
from Fort Allen, to the Governor, he says : 


We left Bethlehem the 10th instant with Foulk's Company, 
46 men, the Detachment of McLaughlin's 20, and 7 waggons 
laden with Stores and Provisions. We got that night to Hays' 
Quarters, where Wayne's Company joined us from Nazareth. 

The next day we marched cautiously thro' the Gap of the 
Mountain, a very dangerous Pass, and got to Uplinger's but 
twenty-one miles from Bethlehem, the Roads being bad and 
the Waggons moving slowly." (Col. Eec, vii, p. 16). 

The only other record we have is from the Journal of Jas. 
Young, when inspecting the various forts in June, 1756, viz: 

June 22— At 4 P. M. Sett out (from Fort Allen), at 6 came 
to Leahy Gap where I found a Serjeant and 8 men Stationed 
at a Farm house with a small Staccade Eound it, from Fort 
Allen here the Eoad is very hilly and Swampy, only one 
Plantation ab't a mile from the Gap. I found the People 
here were a Detachment from Capt'n (Nicholas) Weatherholts 
Comp'y, he is Station'd on the other side of the Gap, 3 miles 
from this with 12 men, the rest of his Comp'y are at Depues 











and another Gapp 15 miles from this. I dispatch'd a messen- 
ger to Capf n Weatherholt, desiring him to Come here in the 
morning, with the men under his Com'd, to be muster'd, the 
People Stationed here and on the other side the Gapp I think 
may be of great service, as it is a good road thro' the moun- 
tain and very steep and high on each side, so may in a great 
measure prevent any Indians to pass thro' undiscovered if 
they kept a good guard, here the Eiver Leahy Passes thro' 
the mountain in a very Rapid Stream. 

23 June — Leahy Gapp, North Side. — At 7 in the morning, 
I mustered the men here, the Serjant inform'd me that Oapt'n 
Weatherholt was gone 12 miles from this and he believed on 
his way to Philad'a for there pay, which was the reason the 
people did not come here, and I finding this Oomp'y so much 
dispers'd at different Stations in small parties, I could not 
regularly Muster them therefore at 8 A. M. I sett out for Fort 
Noris. * * * (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 678). 

In the Penn'a Archives, vol. iii, p. 325, is given what is 
called the 'Tosition of the Troops in Northampton County in 
1758." In this list we have "A Sergeant and 5 men at Up- 
linger's," which means the Fort at Lehigh Gap, and "Capt. 
Foulk, with 63 men, at the new Fort not named between Fort 
Allen & Fort Lebanon." 

This date is unquestionably wrong. A foot note in the 
Archives practically admits that fact when it says ''There 
was no date to this paper, it was found among the papers of 
this year (1758)," and because of that fact it was placed 
amongst the Archives of that year. A moment's reflection 
will show that it is really the position of troops in Northamp- 
ton county during the early part of 1756. As we have al- 
ready seen, Mr. Young, in June, 1756, found at Lehigh Gap a 
Sergeant and 8 men, which agrees almost precisely with the 
report ; then again it could only have been in the early part of 
1756 that Capt. Foulk would be at the new Fort not named, 
between Fort Allen and Fort Lebanon, which was Fort Frank- 
lin, then building and not even yet named. By careful ex- 
amination I have found that this report should be dated April, 
1756, and that it belongs to a letter of Gov. Morris, dated April, 


1756, in Penn. Archives, vol. ii, p. 637, from which it evidently 
became separated. 

On February 5, 1758, Adjutant Kern reports Lieut. Engel 
in command of Fort Lehigh, with 30 men, 16 Provincial Arms, 
14 Private guns, 40 lbs of pow^der, 80 lbs of lead, 4 months 
provisions, 10 cartridge, Jacob Levan Commissary, the dis- 
tance from Fort Allen 10 miles, and from P. Doll's Block 
house 8 miles. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 340). 

We see from this that it was considered a position of sufiQ- 
cient importance to be not only retained, but to have its garri- 
son increased. The map herewith given shows its location. 

Fort Lehigh was at Lehigh Gap, immediately on the north 
side of the mountain. Its distance from Col. Jno. Craig's 
store, at which is the Lehigh Gap Post Office, is about one- 
half mile. It stood on property originally belonging to Na- 
thaniel Irish, adjoining that of Nicholas Opplinger, where 
Benjamin Franklin stayed all night, when on his way to Fort 
Allen, as he tells us. It is now the farm of Chas. Straub. 
The fort was on slightly elevated ground, at the foot of which 
a small run of water meanders down to the Aquashicola 
creek. The importance of its position is easily seen. It com- 
manded the entrance to Lehigh Gap, and was at the junction 
of the road to Fort Allen at Weissport, on the north, and the 
road to Fort Norris, on the East. We have been told that it 
was merely an ordinary blockhouse surrounded by a stockade. 
We know it to have been built by the settlers, either in the 
latter part of 1755 or beginning of 1756. We know nothing, 
however, of the close of its history, but have no reason to 
doubt that it was abandoned, as a station, during the year 
1758, when hostilities had almost come to an end. There is 
nothing to indicate that it was needed or used again in 1763. 

Amongst the settlers who lived in the vicinity of the Fort, 
during the war, was a Mr. Boyer (his first name we do not 
know). His place was about IJ miles east of the Fort, on 
land now owned by Josiah Arner, James Ziegenfuss and 
George Kunkle. With the other farmers he had gathered 
his family into the blockhouse for protection. One day, how- 
ever, with his son Frederick, then thirteen years old, and the 
other children, he went home to attend to the crops. Mr. 


Boyer was ploughing and Fred was hoeing, whilst the rest 
of the children were in the house or playing near by. With- 
out any warning they were surprised by the appearance of 
Indians. Mr. Boyer, seeing them, called to Fred to run, and 
himself endeavored to reach the house. Finding he could 
not do so he ran towards the creek, and was shot through the 
head as he reached the farther side. Fred, who had escaped 
to the wheat field, was captured and brought back. The In- 
dians, having scalped the father in his presence, took the 
horses from the plough, his sisters and himself, and started 
for Stone Hill in the rear of the house. There they were 
joined by another party of Indians and marched northward to 
Canada. On the march the sisters were separated from their 
brother and never afterwards heard from. Frederick was a 
prisoner with the French and Indians in Canada for five years, 
and was then sent to Philadelphia. Of Mrs. Boyer, who re- 
mained in the blockhouse, nothing further is known. After 
reaching Philadelphia, Frederick made his way to Lehigh 
Gap and took possession of the farm. Shortly after he mar- 
ried a daughter of Conrad Mehrkem, with whom he had four 
sons and four daughters. He died October 31, 1832, aged 89 

I desire here to express the obligation under which I rest 
to Col. elno. Craig, of Lehigh Gap, for courtesy shown me and 
much valuable information given in connection with Fort 
Lehigh, and other points in his vicinity. 

Mr. Craig, who is now 65 years old, was told all about the 
Fort, its location and garrison, by his father, who received it 
directly from Mr. Frederick Boyer, who was an actor in the 
bloody drama just given, and v/hose return from captivity we 
have just recorded. He was also given the same information 
from sundry other old persons. 

A tablet should certainly be erected to mark the site of 
Fort Lehigh, and, I think, should be placed aside of the pub- 
lic road near it. 




At Trucker's (Kern's) Mill in Slatington. 

Whilst I have headed this subject as the "Fort" south of 
Lehigh Gap, yet I do not wish to convey the impression that 
it was one of the regular forts established by the Government. 
Such was not the case. It was but a private mill, at which a 
garrison of soldiers was stationed, and of which we have but 
the slightest mention, and yet the position was of such im- 
portance that, in my judgment, it deserves a rank and stand- 
ing in history above that of the mere private blockhouse, 
used as a place of refuge. 

The reader will recall that, when Jas. Young visited Fort 
Lehigh, at the Gap, on June 22, 1756, he said "I found the 
people here were a Detachment from Capt'n Weatherholt's 
(Nicholas) Comp'y, he is Stationed on the other side of the 
Gapp, 3 miles from this, with 12 men, * * * i dispatch'd 
a messenger to Cap'tn Weatherholt, desiring him to Come here 
in the morning with the men under his Cam'd, to be muster'd, 
the People Stationed here and on the other side of the Gapp I 
think may be of great service, as it is a good road thro' the 
mountain and very steep and high on each side, so may in a 
great measure prevent any Indians to pass thro' undiscovered 
if they keep a good guard, here the Kiver Leahy Passes thro' 
the mountain in a very Eapid Stream." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 

This is the only information we have with regard to this 
station. We are simply told that it was three miles south of 
Lehigh Gap. With this slight clue I went to work. Taking 
it for granted the place would be on the same side of the Le- 
high Eiver as was Fort Lehigh, I found this distance would 
bring us to Walnutport, opposite Slatington. Having pre- 
pared my way, with much correspondence, I drove through 
the entire country from Walnutport up to Lehigh Gap, visited 
every old resident in the whole region, and many younger 
ones, but discovered absolutely nothing except that there was 
an Indian village, or settlement, near the river, half way be- 
tween the two places. I believed I had done everything pos- 
sible and felt somewhat discouraged at my apparent failure. 




















_ ^"•^ ■>:;•' 







And yet here was but another instance of the extreme care 
necessary in research of this character, where strict accuracy 
is aimed at. I had failed to take the Commanding officer, 
Capt. Wetterholt, into consideration, and to remember that, 
as his operations about this time were principally west of the 
river, so he would be more likely to select a station on that 
side, more especially so if, in addition, other important rea- 
sons were present to so influence him, as in this instance. 

In searching carefully the Penn'a Archives, I came across 
(Vol. ii, p. 618) the following letter from Gov. Morris to Capt. 
Weatherholt (Nicholas) : 

Philada., 8th April, 1756. 

As there are Eleven of your men stationed at Trucker's 
Mill, I think it for the publick safety that they should be em- 
ploy'd in ranging the woods, when the people of that town- 
ship are inclinable to Joyn them and assist in such service; 
I do, therefore, order that the said men stationed at Trucker's 
Mill, when they are not employ'd in escorting Provisions or 
Stores, shall employ themselves in scouring and ranging the 
woods; and I recommend it to the inhabitants to Joyn them 
from time to time for that purpose, and you are to take care 
that this, my order, be carry'd into full Execution. 

I also notice a letter from Major Parsons to Capt. Orndt, 
of August 15th, 1756, in which he says, "Capt. Eeynolds has 
powder and lead, and can spare 6 K) of powder & 20 R) of lead 
to the forces at Trucker's Mill, and if you order anybody for 
it they may show this letter. (Penn. Arch., ii, 742.) 

About the same time I received a letter from Mr. A. J. An- 
drews of Walnutport, telling me he understood there was a 
fort at Slatington not far distant from where Mr. A. J. Kern's 
grist mill now stands, called "Dry Fort," or "Kern's Fort," 
after Mr. Kern, the original owner of the place. 

I, at once, looked up the history of Slatington and was for- 
tunate to find that Trucker was a nickname given to Wm. 
Kern, as I will mention presently, this showing conclusively 
that Capt. Wetterholt's station, south of Lehigh Gap, was 
at Kern's Mill in Slatington. 

The date of the Governor's letter was April, 1756, whilst 


Jas. Young's visit of inspection was in June, 1756, almost ex- 
actly the same time. In his letter the Governor even speaks 
of eleven men being stationed there, which agrees almost lit- 
erally with the number (twelve) given by Mr. Young. With 
the kind assistance of Mr. W. H. Troutman, of Keading, I 
have prepared the map herewith given. 

The old, original saw mill stood on the site of the present 
saw mill, on Trout Creek, some 175 feet north of the bridge 
at Main Street. It belonged to the Kern family, and was 
built prior to 1755. It was subsequently removed to the 
place now occupied by the Slate (Mantel) Factory. 

Nicholas Kern, the first settler, took up this land as early 
as 1737, on which he subsequently built his home. Upon his 
death in 1748 the property, by will, was equally divided be- 
tween his widow, six sons and one daughter, who survived. 
All the family remained at the place until the youngest chil- 
dren had arrived at maturity, when some of them removed to 
the lower part of the county, where their descendants still 
reside. William and John remained at the homestead, taking 
care of the farm and mills which had been erected on Trout 
creek. William seems to have been of a jovial disposition, 
and given somewhat to joking. Mrs. Michael Eamaly, long 
since dead, told Charles Peters, of Slatington, many years 
ago, that, beacuse of this fact, he was called "Trockener," in 
German signifying a joker, or wit. This, in time, became cor- 
rupted to ''Trucker," so that on the Evans map of 1755, as 
well as that of Edward Scull of 1770, one of the Kern mills, 
that in which we are interested, was designated as "Trucker's 
Mill." William Kern's house, built of logs and possessing 
the distinction of a double porch, stood where the residences 
of Benjamin Kern and Henry Kuntz now are. It was torn 
down about 1858. The old stone barn, built about 1807, is 
still standing. (Matthews and Hungerford, History of Lehigh 
Co.; p. 556.) 

From information kindly given by Mr. Benjamin Kern, now 
59 years old, I have marked on the map the house occupying 
the site of the original homestead. The small log building 
attached to it, now weatherboarded, is said to be of the 
original house. The stone barn, built in 1807, is also given, 


but the original barn stood as shown, on the other side of the 
road, just beyond. All these properties, including the mill, 
were on or near the only road then existing, which was made 
and used by the Indians. It crossed the Lehigh at a ford, 
some 500 feet above the bridge leading to Walnutport, then 
followed along Trout Creek, as shown, past sundry wigwams 
and villages to the north. Because of that fact it was called 
the "Warriors' Path," and the ford denominated the "War- 
rior's Crossing." In 1761 a road was laid out, following its 
line, which still exists in Slatington. 

These facts are corroborated by Mr. J. W. Andrews, of 
Berlinsville, Northampton Co., Pa., an intelligent, elderly 
gentleman, thoroughly acquainted with the history of the lo- 

We have now learned the location of Trucker's Mill and 
why it was so called. We have also seen that it was, for some 
time at least, occupied as a military station. It only remains 
to say that it was of great importance to the neighborhood. 
It supplied the settlers with much needed lumber. Even Ben- 
jamin Franklin was obliged to obtain his material for Fort 
Allen from this mill. In his letter of January 25, 1756, he 
says, "The next day being Sunday, we march'd hither (Fort 
Allen) ; where we arrived about 2 in the afternoon, and before 
5 had inclosed our Camp with a Strong Breast work, Musket 
Proof, and with the Boards brought here before by my Order 
from Drucker's mill, got ourselves under some shelter from 
the Weather." (Col. Rec, vii, p. 15.) 

It was important, then, not merely as a saw mill, but, be- 
sides that, it was important from a military point of view, 
commanding, as it did, the routes of intercourse between Al- 
bany Township on the West to Nazareth and Easton on the 
East, as well as Bethlehem and Allentown on the South, and 
Forts Lehigh and Allen on the North. It would seem to me 
that the preservation of matters of importance in the history 
of the State should cause such a liberal view to be taken with 
regard to the placing of tablets as would assign one to this 



Between the years 1759 and 1763 there was somewhat of a 
lull in the continued frequency of Indian atrocities. Then 
came the peace with the savages, and immediately followed 
the short and bloody outbreak called Pontiac's War, which, 
in 1764, finally closed the history of Indian Massacre in East- 
ern Pennsylvania. Indeed, even during the years 1763-64 the 
territory of which I am treating, between the Susquehanna 
and Delaware Rivers, south of the Blue Mountains, saw little 
of the effects of this war, and so few incidents are recorded 
in comparison with the terrible events of previous years, 
that its treatise as a separate article, would hardly be war- 
ranted were it not for the occurrences which took place along 
the Lehigh River. Because they did occur in the immmediate 
neighborhood about which I have just been writing, and be- 
cause they treat so prominently of the Wetterholt brothers, 
I have deemed it best to take up the subject at this point, and 
so make a more or less consecutive narrative. 

Through the kindness of Miss Minnie F. Mickley, of Mick- 
leys, Pa., I have been furnished with a sketch, written by her 
father, Jos. J. Mickley, Esq., in 1875, entitled a ''Brief Ac- 
count of Murders by the Indians, and the cause thereof, in 
Northampton County, Penna., October 8th, 1763," from which 
I have taken the liberty of making many extracts, because of 
the complete manner in which his subject is treated. 

I have said that, with the exception of what is about to fol- 
low, Eastern Pennsylvania was comparatively free from In- 
dian massacres during 1763-64. This, in itself, would indicate 
a special reason for their occurrences removed from that 
which brought about the general hostilities. Such was actu- 
ally the case. In "Heckewelder's account of the Indian Na- 
tions," p. 332, he says : 

"In the summer of the year 1763, some friendly Indians 
from a distant place came to Bethlehem to dispose of their 
peltry for manufactured goods and necessary implements of 
husbandry. Returning home well satisfied, they put up the 
first night at a tavern (John Stenton's) eight miles distant 
from Bethlehem. The landlord not being at home, his wife 


took the liberty of encouraging the people who frequented 
her house for the sake of drinking, to abuse those Indians, 
adding, 'that she would freely give a gallon of rum to any 
one of them that would kill one of these black devils.' Other 
white people from the neighborhood came in during the night, 
who also drank freely, made a great deal of noise, and in- 
creased the fears of those poor Indians, who — for the great- 
est part understood English, — could not but suspect some- 
thing bad was intended against their persons. They were, 
however, not otherwise disturbed; but in the morning, when 
after a restless night they were preparing to set off, they 
found themselves robbed of some of their most valuable ar- 
ticles they had purchased, and on mentioning this to a man 
who appeared to be the bar-keeper, they were ordered to leave 
the house. Not being willing to lose so much property, they 
retired to some distance in the woods, when, some of them 
remaining with what was left them, the others returned to 
Bethlehem and lodged their complaint with a justice of the 
peace. The magistrate gave them a letter to the landlord, 
pressing him without delay to restore to the Indians the goods 
that had been taken from them. But, behold! when they de- 
livered the letter to the people of the inn, they were told in 
answer, that if they set any value on their lives they must 
make off with themselves immediately. They well understood 
that they had no other alternative, and prudently departed 
without having received back any of their goods. Arrived at 
Nescopeck, on the Susquehanna, they fell in with some other 
Delaware Indians, who had been treated much in the same 
manner, one of them having his rifle stolen from him. Here 
two parties agreed to take revenge in their own way for those 
insults and robberies for which they could obtain no redress, 
and this they determined to do as soon as war should be 
again declared by their nation against the English." 

As proof of the truth of this narrative Heckewelder adds 
a note, — "This relation is Authentic. I have received it from 
the mouth of the chief of the injured party, and his statement 
was confirmed by communications made at the time by two 


respectable magistrates of the county. Justice Geiger's letter 
to Tim. Horsfield proves this fact." 

It might be interesting to add that the Eev. John Hecke- 
welder was born in Bedford, England, March 12th, 1743. He 
came to America, with his parents, when quite young; during 
forty years was a missionary among the Indians in different 
parts of this country, exposed to many hardships and perils. 
He wrote several works on the Indians, which are instructive 
and interesting on account of his having been familiar with 
their language, manners and customs. He died at Bethlehem, 
January 21st, 1823. 

About the same time as this unfortunate occurrence, an- 
other one of similar character took place, which is given in 
Loskiel's "History of the Missions of the Indians in America," 
as follows: 

"In August, 1763, Zachary and his wife, who had left the 
congregation in Wechquetank — on Poca-poca (Head's) Creek, 
north of the Blue Mountain, settled by Moravian Indians — 
(where they had belonged, but left some time previous), came 
on a visit, and did all in their power to disquiet the minds of 
the brethren respecting the intentions of the white people. 
A woman called Zippora, was persuaded to follow them. On 
their return they stayed at the Buehkabuehka (this is the name 
the Munseys have for the Lehigh Water Gap — it means 
"Mountains butting opposite each other") over night, where 
Captain Wetterholt (Nicholas) lay with a company of soldiers, 
and went unconcerned to sleep in a hay-loft. But in the 
night they were surprised by the soldiers. Zippora was thrown 
down upon the threshing floor and killed; Zachary escaped 
out of the house, but was pursued, and with his wife and little 
child put to the sword, although the mother begged for their 
lives upon her knees." 

The presence of Capt. Wetterholt at Lehigh Gap was prob- 
ably owing to the fact that he was on his way either to or 
from Fort Allen, at Weissport, where a body of soldiers under 
his command, was still stationed. His Lieutenant at this 
time was a man named Jonathan Dodge, who seems to have 
been a most precious scoundrel. He had been sent from 
Philadelphia by Bichard Hockley to Lt. Col. Timothy Hors- 


field, with a letter dated July 14tli, 1763, recommending him 
as "very necessary for the service," and had been assigned by 
the latter to Capt. JVetterholt's company. It might be well 
to explain here that Timothy Horsfleld, whose name appears 
frequently, was born April, 1708, in Liverpool, England. He 
emigrated to America, and settled on Long Island, in 1725; 
moved to Bethlehem in 1749; was appointed Justice of the 
Peace for Northampton County in May, 1752; commissioned 
Lieutenant-Colonel, and, as such, had the superintendence 
and direction of the two military companies commanded by 
the two Captains Wetterholt, which were ranging along the 
frontier; they sent their reports to him, and he corresponded 
with the Government at Philadelphia. Mr. Horsfleld was of 
great service to the Government, as well as to the frontier in- 
habitants. He resigned both offices in 'December, 1763, and 
died at Bethlehem, March 9th, 1773. 

Dodge committed many atrocious acts against his fellow- 
soldiers, also against the inhabitants of Northampton County, 
but particularly against the Indians. 

In a letter to Timothy Horsfleld, dated i^ugust 4th, 1763, 
Dodge writes: ''Yesterday there were four Indians came to 
Ensign Kern's (where Worthington now is). * * * I took 
four rifles and fourteen deer-skins from them, weighed them, 
and there was thirty-one pounds." After the Indians had left 
him, he continues: ''I took twenty men and pursued them, 
* * * * then I ordered my men to flre, upon which I 
flred a volley on them, * * * * could flnd none dead or 

These were friendly, inoffensive Indians, who had come from 
Shamokin (Sunbury) on their way to Bethlehem. 

Jacob Warner, a soldier in Nicholas Wetterholt's company 
made the following statement September 9th: That he and 
Dodge were searching for a lost gun, when, about two miles 
above Fort Allen, they saw three Indians painted black. Dodge 
flred upon them and killed one; Warner also flred upon them, 
and thinks he wounded another; but two escaped; the In- 
dians had not fired at them. The Indian was scalped, and, 
on the 24th, Dodge sent Warner with the scalp to a person 


in Philadelphia, who gave him eight dollars for it. These 
were also friendly Indians. 

On the 4th of October, Dodge was charged with disabling 
Peter Frantz, a soldier; for striking him with a gun, and or- 
dering his men to lay down their arms if the Captain should 
blame him about the scalp. 

In a letter of this date Capt. Nicholas Wetterholt wrote to 
Timothy Horsfield: ''If he (Dodge) is to remain in the com- 
pany, not one man will remain. I never had so much trouble 
and uneasiness as I have had these few weeks; and if he con- 
tinues in the service any longer, I don't propose to stay any 
longer. I intend to confine him only for this crime." 

All this was at a time when, after years of warfare and 
murder, peace had just been concluded with the Indians, who 
seemed to be incline'd to fully accept its terms. Care and 
good treatment of them were matters of great moment. The 
ill-timed and barbarous actions of Dodge, who was a bully 
and coward, execrated alike by his fellow soldiers and the 
Indians, had, therefore, much to do with bringing on the sad 
events which presently followed. 

On October 5th, Capt. Wetterholt (Nicholas) placed Lieut. 
Jonathan Dodge under arrest "for striking and abusing Peter 
Frantz," and sent him in charge of Captain Jacob Wetterholt, 
Sergeant Lawrence McGuire, and some soldiers to Timothy 
Horsfield at Bethlehem. We are not informed as to the re- 
sult of his trial. His punishment could not have been much 
more than a reprimand, because he immediately started back 
for Fort Allen with Capt. Jacob Wetterholt. It would look 
as if Mr. Horsfield hesitated to give him a severe punishment 
because of influential friends, or connections. 

On the Tth of October, Captain Jacob Wetterholt, with his 
party, left Bethlehem, on their way to Fort Allen. That same 
evening they arrived at John Sten ton's tavern and lodged for 
the night. Being, so to say, in time of peace, when no danger 
of an Indian attack was apprehended, they did not deem it 
necessary to place sentrys about the building. To be sure, 
Capt. Wetterholt must have been aware of the treatment re- 
cently accorded the Indians at this very same place and 
might have thought that the presence of Dodge at this time, 


in this very building, would be a double incentive for the 
savages to wreak their vengeance, yet he had no reason to 
suspect their presence, and from his daring nature was in- 
clined to look lightly on danger, so he neglected an ordinary 
precaution and violated a common military rule in not sta- 
tioning guards. 

During the night, the Indians, unperceived and unsuspected, 
approached the house. What happened, at break of day on 
October 8th, is related as follows in Gordon's History of Penn- 
sylvania : 

"The Capt. designing early in the morning to proceed for 
the fort, ordered a servant out to get his horse ready, who 
was immediately shot down by the enemy; upon the Captain 
going to the door he was also mortally wounded, and a ser- 
geant, who attempted to draw the Captain in, was also dan- 
gerously hurt. The lieutenant then advanced, when an In- 
dian jumping on the bodies of the two others, presented a 
pistol to his breast, which, he putting aside, it went off over 
his shoulder, whereby he got the Indian out of the house and 
shut the door. The Indians then went around to a window, 
and, as Stenton was getting out of bed, shot him; but, rush- 
ing from the house, he was able to run a mile before he 
dropped dead. His wife and two children ran to the cellar; 
they were fired upon three times, but escaped uninjured. 
Capt. Witherholt, notwithstanding his wound, crawled to a 
window, whence he killed one of the Indians who were set- 
ting fire to the house; the others then ran off, bearing with 
them their dead companion." 

This description was taken from a detailed account sent by 
Mr. Horsfield with a messenger (John Bacher, who was paid 
for this service Oct. 12, £2 10s. 4d) to the Governor, at Phila- 
delphia. It was published in the Pennsylvania Gazette of Oc- 
tober 13th, 1763, printed by Benjamin Franklin, also in the 
Philadelphische Staats-bote, printed by Heinrich Miller, in 
the German language, of October 17th, 1763. 

The wounded were taken to Bethlehem, where Captain Wet- 
terholt died the next day, at the Crown Inn, and so passed 
away a brave and energetic officer who deserved a better 


The effect upon our redoubtable Lieutenant Dodge was of 
a rather demoralizing character, if we may judge by his letter 
to Timothy Horsfield : 
"John Stenton's, Oct. the 8, 1763. 

Mr. Horsfield, Sir, Pray send me help for all my men are 
killed But one, and Capt'n Wetterholt is almost Dead, he is 
shot through the Body, for god sake send me help. 

These from me to serve my country and king so long as I 

Send me help or I am a Dead man. 

this from me Ly'n't Dodge 

sarg't meguire is shot through the body — 

Pray send up the Doctor for god sake." 

He evidently was of the class of men who spell God with a 
little "g" and his own name with a big "D", but in time of 
danger is anxious enough to call on the former for help, 
knowing how little reliance he can place on the latter. 

Mr. Horsfield, besides forwarding his report to the Gover- 
nor, at once sent an express to Daniel Hunsicker, Lieutenant 
in Captain Jacob Wetterholt's company, with the following 
letter, to inform him of this disaster : 

Bethlehem, Oct. 8, 1763. 
Sir: This morning at about break of day, a number of In- 
dians attacked the inhabitants of Allen's Town (Allen Town- 
ship) ; have killed several, and wounded many more. Your 
Captain, who was here yesterday, lays at the house of John 
Stenton, at Allen's Town, wounded. Several of the soldiers 
have been killed. I send to Simon Heller, and request him to 
send a safe hand with it, that you may receive it as quick as 
possible. Now is the time for you and the men to exert your- 
selves in defence of the frontier, which I doubt not you will 
do. I expect to hear from you when you have any news of 
importance. Send one of your worst men; as it will be dan- 
gerous in the day time, send him in the night. The enclosed 
letter to Mr. Grube (Kev. B. D. Grube, a Moravian Missionary 
at Wechquetank) I desire you send as soon as possible. 

I am, &c., 
To Lieutenant Hunsicker, Lower Smithfield. 


This, however, was not the only mischief done by the In- 
dians. They had come to avenge themselves on those who 
had ill-treated them, but, unfortunately, their savage nature 
once aroused, and excited by the first taste of blood, they con- 
tinued their work of death throughout the whole neighbor- 
hood, sparing neither friend nor foe, slaying those who had 
abused them as well as those who had shown them many 
continued acts of kindness, until obliged to retreat. The 
missionary Heckewelder in his Account of the Indian Nations, 
p. 334, endeavors to palliate their crime by saying that the 
murder of the innocent people was oAving to a mistake on the 
part of the savages. He remarks that ''The Indians, after 
leaving this house (Stenton's) murdered by accident an inno- 
cent family, having mistaken the house they meant to attack; 
after which they returned to their homes." It was generally 
believed that they mistook this house for that of Paulus Bal- 
liet, which they intended to attack. Mr. Balliet lived at the 
place now Ballietsville, and kept a store and tavern, similar 
to that of John Stenton. 

Whatever may have been the explanation, the terrible fact 
still remains. The following account is given in the Pennsyl- 
vania Gazette, being an extract from a letter from Bethlehem, 
dated October 9 : 

"Early this morning came Nicholas Marks, of Whitehall 
Township, and brought the following account, viz: 

That yesterday, just after dinner, as he opened his door, 
he saw an Indian standing about two poles from the house, 
who endeavored to shoot at him; but, Marks shutting the 
door immediately, the fellow slipped into a cellar, close to the 
house. After this said Marks went out of the house, with his 
wife and an apprentice boy. [This apprentice boy was the 
late George Graff, of AUentown, t:hen fifteen years of age. 
He ran to Philip Jacob Schreiber with the news of these mur- 
ders. He was Captain of a company in the Revolutionary 
War. In 1786 he resigned as Collector of the Excise, and was 
Sheriff of Northampton county in the years 1787-88-89. For 
three years he was a member of the Legislature, then holding 
its sessions in Philadelphia, from December 3rd, 1793, to De- 
cember, 1796. He lived many years in Allentown, where he 


died in 1835, in the 88th year of his age,] in order to make 
their escape, and saw another Indian standing behind a tree, 
who tried also to shoot at them, but his gun missed fire. They 
then saw the third Indian running through the orchard; upon 
which they made the best of their way, about two miles off, 
to Adam Deshler's place, where twenty men in arms were 
assembled, who went first to the house of John Jacob Mick- 
ley, where they found a boy and girl lying dead, and the 
girl scalped. From thence they went to Hans Schneider's 
and said Mark's plantations, and found both houses on fire, 
and a horse tied to the bushes. They also found said Schnei- 
der, his wife and three children, dead in the field, the man 
and woman scalped; and, on going farther, they found two 
others wounded, one of whom was scalped. After this they 
returned with the two wounded girls to Adam Deshler's, and 
saw a woman, Jacob Alleman's wife, with a child, lying dead 
in the road and scalped. The number of Indians they think 
was about fifteen, or twenty. 

I cannot describe the deplorable condition this poor country 
is in : most of the inhabitants of Allen's Town and other places 
are fled from their habitations. Many are in Bethlehem, 
and other places of the Brethren, and others farther down the 
Country. I cannot ascertain the number killed, but think 
it exceeds twenty. The people of Nazareth, and other places 
belonging to the Brethren have put themselves in the best 
posture of defence they can; they keep a strong watch every 
night, and hope, by the blessing of God, if they are attacked, 
to make a good stand." 

"In a letter from the same county, of the 10th instant, the 
number killed is said to be twenty-three, besides a great many 
dangerously wounded; that the inhabitants are in the utmost 
distress and confusion, flying from their places, some of them 
with hardly sufficient to cover themselves, and that it was to 
be feared there were many houses, &c., burned, and lives lost 
that were not then known. And by a gentleman from the 
same quarter we are informed that it was reported, when he 
came away, that Yost's mill, about eleven miles from Bethle- 
hem, was destroyed, and all the people that belonged to it, 
excepting a young man, cut off." 


After the deplorable disaster at Stenton's house, the In- 
dians plundered James Allen's house, a short distance off; 
after which they attacked Andrew Hazlet's house, half a mile 
from Allen's, where they shot and scalped a man. Hazlet 
attempted to fire on the Indians, but missed, and he was shot 
himself, which his wife, some distance off, saw. She ran off 
with two children, but was pursued and overtaken by the 
Indians, who caught and tomahawked her and the children in 
a dreadful manner; yet she and one of the children lived until 
four days after, and the other child recovered. Hazlet's 
house was plundered. About a quarter of a mile from there 
the Indians burned down Kratzer's house, probably after 
having plundered it. Then a party of Indians proceeded to 
a place on the Lehigh, a short distance above Siegfried's 
Bridge, to this day known as the ^'Indian Fall" or Kapids, 
where twelve Indians were seen wading across the river by 
Ulrich Schowalter, who then lived on the place now owned 
by Peter Troxel. Schowalter was at that time working on 
the roof of a building, the site of which being considerably 
elevated above the river Lehigh, he had a good opportunity 
to see and count the Indians, who, after having crossed the 
river, landed near Leisenring's Mountain. It is to be ob- 
served, that the greater part of this township was, at that 
time, still covered with dense forests, so that the Indians 
could go from one place to another almost in a straight line, 
through the woods, without being seen. It is not known that 
they were seen by any one but Schowalter, until they reached 
the farm of John Jacob Mickley (the great grandfather of 
Mr. Jos. J. Mickley), where they encontered three of his chil- 
dren, two boys and a girl in a field under a chestnut tree, 
gathering chestnuts. The children's ages were : Peter, eleven ; 
Henry, nine ; and Barbary, seven ; who, on seeing the Indians, 
began to run away. The little girl was overtaken not far from 
the tree by an Indian, who knocked her down with a toma- 
hawk. Henry had reached the fence, and, while in the act of 
climbing it, an Indian threw a tomahawk at his back, which, 
it is supposed instantly killed him. Both of these children 
were scalped. The little girl, in an insensible state, lived 
until the following morning. Peter, having reached the woods, 


hid himself between two large trees which were standing near 
together, and, surrounded by brushwood, he remained quietly 
concealed there, not daring to move for fear of being discov- 
ered, until he was sure that the Indians had left. He was, 
however, not long confined there; for, when he heard the 
screams of the Schneider family, he knew that the Indians were 
at that plaee, and that his way was clear. He escaped unhurt, 
and ran with all his might, by way of Adam Deshler's to his 
brother, John Jacob Mickley, to whom he communicated the 
melancholy intelligence. From this time Peter lived a number 
of years with his brother John Jacob, after which he settled in 
Bucks county, where he died in the year 1827, at the age of 
seventy-five. One of his daughters, widow of the late Henry 
Statzel, informed Mr Mickley, among other matters, of the fact, 
related by her father, that the Mickley family owned at that 
time a very large and ferocious dog, which had a particular 
antipathy to Indians, and it was believed by the family that 
it was owing to the dog the Indians did not make an attack 
on their house, and thus the destruction of their lives was 
prevented. John Jacob Mickley and Ulrich Flickinger, then 
on their way to Stenton's, being attracted by the screams of the 
Schneiders, hastened to the place where, a short time be- 
fore, was peace and quietness, and saw the horribly mangled 
bodies of the dead and wounded, and the houses of Marks 
and Schneider in flames. The dead were bui^ied on Schneider's 

I take pleasure in reproducing Mr. Mickley's Map, giving 
the topography of the country and location of places just 


In the narrative of events just given, mention has been made 
several times of Adam Deshler's house as a place of refuge 
and also of rendezvous. He lived on the north bank of the 
Coplay Creek, in the stone house built by him in the year 1760. 
The name of the creek, Coplay, is a corruption from Kola- 
pechka, an Indian, who was the son of the Shawanese Indian 


chief Paxinosa. He lived at the head of the creek, named after 
him, on friendly terms with the white inhabitants. He was 
an honest and trustworthy man. Timothy Horsfield employed 
him on several occasions to carry messages to the Governor at 

This house is still standing in a good state of preservation, 
and inhabited, although by some Hungarian families who work 
in the Cement Mills close by. Miss Mickley informs me that 
it was quite a mansion in its time. It was built much higher 
than the other houses around it. The oaken beams in one of 
the rooms are smoothly finished and grooved. Two of the 
original walnut doors, with Dutch locks, still remain. Mr. 
Mickley says, "Adjoining this house on the north was a large 
frame building, sufficiently large for quartering twenty sol- 
diers, and for military stores. This place was, during the In- 
dian troubles, a kind of military post. I remember well having 
seen that frame building, partly in ruins, about sixty years 
ago (in 1815)." 

Adam Deshler was employed by the Provincial Government 
to furnish supplies to the soldiers. Until recently the build- 
ing still remained in the Deshler family, when sold by Mr. D. 
J. F. Deshler to Danied Schaadt, who has turned it into a 
tenement house. 

The engraving is a rough copy of a pencil sketch of the 
Deshler Fort made by the Eev. W. 0. Keichel, which appears in 
Dr. Egle's History of Pennsylvania, vol. ii, p. 876. I also in- 
clude photographs taken June 5, 1894, giving front and side 
views of the building as it now appears. 

I have called this "Deshler's Fort." We have, however, no 
further history of it than that just given. Whilst it has been 
asserted that soldiers (Provincial troops) occupied it, yet this 
is doubtful. Still, owing to the nature of the building, its 
central location and commanding position, it is not beyond 
the bounds of reason to presume that, even before 1763, it 
may have been used at various times as a military station. 
Still, if it played no further part in the bloody drama of In- 
dian warfare than that just narrated, it is a noteworthy build- 
ing, and when, in addition, we consider how few changes 
have taken place in its appearances during all these years, it 



is certainly worthy of sufficient care to keep it in a state of 
preservation, and of a tablet to commemorate its history. 

The people of Northampton County thoroughly alarmed by 
the murders which had just taken place, and fearing a gen- 
eral invasion of the foe, at once formed a company for mutual 
defence. The following letter to Gov'r Hamilton from Kev. 
Roth, the minister of Allentown, written October 10th, 1763, 
gives an account of it : 
''We send Greeting: 

As I, Joseph Roads, of Northampton Town, Church Minis- 
ter, of the Eighth of this Instant, Octbr, as I was a preaching, 
the people came in Such Numbers, that I was obliged to quit 
my Sarmon, and the Same time Cornel James Bord was in 
the Town, and I, the aforesaid Minister, spoke with Cornel 
Bord concerning this afarres of the Indians, and we found 
the Inhabitance that they had nither Gons, Powder nor Lead, 
to defend themselves, and that Cornel Bord had Latly spoke 
with his Honour. He had informed me that he would assist 
them with Gons and Ammunition, and he requested of me to 
write to your Honour, because he was just Seting of for Lan- 
cester, and the Inhabitance of the Town had not Chose their 
officers at the time he set of. So we, the Inhabitance of the 
said Town hath Unanimus Chose George Wolf, the Bearer 
hereof to be the Captain, and Abraham Rinker to the Lieu- 
tennet; we hose names are under writen, promiss to obey to 
this mentioned Captain and Lieutennet, and so we hope his 
Honor will be so good and send us 50 Gons, 100 Pounds of 
Powder and 400 Pound Lead, and 150 Stans for the Gons. 
These from your humble Servant, Remaining under the Pro- 
tection of our Lord Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

JOSEPH ROTH, Minister. 

The Names of the Company of this said Northampton Town. 

George Wolf, Captain. John Martin Dourr, 

Abraham Rinker, Lieutennet. Peter Roth, 

Philip Koogler, France Keffer, 

Peter Miller, Jacob Morr, 

Frederick Schakler, Martin Frolick, 

Leonard Abell, GeorgLaur, 

H« JNCwVs TO ONt MlLfc. 



' .\ 

W H / I " 





>^ ' ^'^"^ 




1 jonn silHTQf 

JAMES I ^11 EN ^/ 

Anorevm Haiut ^/ 


{NDrAK -W./fiWf M,;^ 

MIChA&L HO?<fMAN-i^ 

T p. 





Tobias Dittis, Daniel Nonnemaker, 

Lorenz Stauck, Peter Shab, 

Simon Brenner, Abraham Sawitz, 

Jacob Wolf, John Schreck, 

Simon Lagnndacker, Georg S. Schnepp, 

Georg Nicolaus, Michael Keadcot. 
David Deschler, 

(Penn. Arch., iv., p. 124.) 

Upon his arrival at Lancaster Col. James Burd also wrote 
the Governor, October 17th, saying: 

I arrived here on Monday night from Northampton. I 
need not trouble your Hour with a Relation of the misfortune 
of that County, as Mr. Horsfield told me he would Send you 
an Express, and Inform you fully of what had happen'd; I 
will only mention that in the Town of Northampton (where 
I was at the time) there was only 4 guns, three of which unfit 
for use, & the Enemy within 4 miles of the place." (Penn. 
Arch., iv, p. 125.) 

It is needless to say the authorities at Philadelphia were 
very much alarmed at this sudden incursion of the enemy. 
The Governor at once laid the matter before the Assembly 
and requested their aid in providing means of defence. This 
body promptly passed a bill appropriating twenty-four thou- 
sand pounds for the purpose of raising and supporting eight 
hundred men, with their of ^'or the defence of the Pro- 


The danger, however, had passed, as quickly as it came. 
The stray band of Indians who had come to wreak their own 
especial vengeance on certain persons, had, to a certain ex- 
tent, accomplished their purpose and were already on their 
way back, committing further depredations as they went. 
The last we hear of them is in a letter of October 25th, writ- 
ten by Rev. John Elder to Gov. Hamilton, from Paxtang. He 

In a Lett'r I writ to your Hon'r the 17th Ins't, I acquainted 
you that it was then impossible to Suspend the Wyoming 



Expedition. The party is now returned, and I shall not trouble 
your Hon'r with any account of their proceedings, as Major 
Clayton informs that he transmitted to you, from Fort Au- 
gusta, a particular journal of their transactions from their 
leaving Hunter's till they returned to Augusta. The mangled 
Carcasses of these unhappy people presented to our Troops 
a melancholly Scene, which had been acted not above two 
days before their Arrival; and by the way the Savages came 
into the Town, it appears they were the same party that com- 
mitted the Eavages in Northampton County, and as they set 
off from Wyoming, up the same Branch of the River towards 
Wihilusing, & from several other Circumstances, it's evident 
that till that Branch is cleared of the Enemy, the frontier 
Settlem'ts will be in no safety." (Penn. Arch., iv, p. 127.) 

With the departure of this party came peace to Lehigh and 
Northampton Counties, and an exemption from Indian atroci- 
ties, at least, never more to be broken. 

It only remains to be seen what became of our quondam 
friend, Jonathan Dodge. It is natural to suppose that his 
further stay in the service of his country would have been 
short and inglorious. On the contrary we find he was imme- 
diately promoted to Captain, probably to fill the vacancy 
caused by the death of poor Capt. Wetterholt. How long he 
retained his position we do not know. The following extract 
however, from a letter of October 31st, 1763, written by Jas. 
Young, from Weiser's Tavern, to Jos. Shippen, Jr., may be of 
interest to the reader: 

"I left Cap'tn Dodge very ill in the small pox at Easton, if 
he makes a Vacancy I would Recomend Lieu Web who bears a 
good Character & is liked by the People." (Penn. Arch., iv, 
p. 129.) 

I wonder how many of his fellow soldiers and fellow citi- 
zens hoped that Capt'n Dodge might then and there "make a 



Prominently identified with the Indian Outbreak of 1763 
in Northampton County, just narrated, was the Ralston Fort, 
as it should be more properly denominated, or Brown's Fort, 
as it is frequently called. By this latter name it is given on the 
Historical Map of Pennsylvania, 1875. 

In continuation of Mr. Mickley's Map, detailing the neigh- 
borhood, especially on the west bank of the Lehigh, and in 
connection with which it should be consulted, I give here- 
with a map of the County between the Lehigh and Delaware 
Rivers, showing principally the details of the "Irish Settle- 
ment." I have been fortunate in securing the temporary use 
of an old map from Rev. D. M. James which enables me to 
mark the location of many of the old settlers of the Settle- 

It will be seen that the Ralston Fort is practically in the 
centre of the Settlement. 

It was with great difficulty I succeeded in learning the 
whereabouts of this defence. My first thought, when glanc- 
ing at its location and name on the Historical Map, was that 
it was merely an incorrect position for the Brown's Fort near 
Manada Gap, which has been such an enigma to historians. 
Nevertheless, I fully realized that it was my duty to ascertain 
the actual facts of the case and not merely to surmise. 

Accordingly, in the first place, I entered into correspondence 
with very many gentlemen living within a radius of from 
ten to fifteen miles of the supposed locality, most of whom 
were men thoroughly acquainted with the history of their vi- 
cinity, but without avail. I then determined to make a per- 
sonal tour of investigation, and accordingly drove through 
the whole country near its supposed site, but met with no 
more success. In addition to all my efforts I could find no 
printed records of any description bearing on the subject. I 
had fully concluded that this fort was, beyond peradventure 
a myth, when, at the very last moment, I received a letter from 
Mr. A. H. Snyder, of Weaversville, who had been faithfully 
aiding me in the search, stating that he had finally sue- 


ceeded in finding some one who could enlighten me, and re- 
ferring me to Kev. D. M. James, D. D., of Bath, pastor of the 
Presbyterian Church near his place. Dr. James has most 
kindly placed his historical knowledge, which is probably not 
excelled by any one in the Irish Settlement, at my disposal, 
and enables me to lay most of the following facts relative to 
the Ralston Fort before the reader. 

The first settlers in Northampton county, as now divided, 
were the Scotch-Irish or Ulster Scots. As early as 1728 John 
Boyd, who had married Jane Craig, went with Colonel Thomas 
Craig from Philadelphia and settled at a place on the Cata- 
sauqua creek, known later as Craig Settlement (see map.) 
They were followed by others of their countrymen, promi- 
nent amongst whom were Hugh Wilson, born in Ireland in 
1869,* and one of the Commissioners appointed to select the 
site of Easton, and Samuel Brown. By 1731 a sufficient com- 
munity had gathered together to form quite a settlement, 
which came to be known as the "Irish Settlement." Its mem- 
bers were never derelict in duty towards their country. Gen- 
eral Robert Brown and General Thomas Craig, of the Conti- 
nental Army, were both natives of the Settlement. Capt. Hays 
commanded a company in the service of the Province dur- 
ing the war with the Indians, and we will presently see how 
greatly it suffered from them at Fort Allen. He also com- 
manded a company in the Revolutionary War which saw 
service in the battles of Long Island and Trenton. The homes 
of these men are shown on the map, as well as that of Gov- 
ernor Geo. Wolf, the Seventh Governor of Pennsylvania, who 
was born in August, 1777, and educated in the Academy, es- 
tablished by the Presbyterians of his neighborhood in 1791, 
also indicated on the map. The present town of Weaversville 
occupies, practically, the site of these early occurrences. 
Near it stands the Presbyterian Church of which Dr. James is 
now pastor, which supersedes two others previously erected, 
the first having been built in 1746. In its grave yard lie the 
remains of General Robert Brown as well as those of many 
of the early settlers. One of its pastors, the Rev. John Ros- 
brough, accompanied his parishioners, who enlisted in Capt. 
Hays company at the outbreak of the Revolution, as their 

♦Shoiikl be 1C89. Ed. 


Chaplain. The morning after the capture of the Hessians at 
Trenton, where the company was engaged, Mr. Kosbrough 
was surprised by the British whilst in a farm house near the 
village of Pennington, and cruelly put to death. He lies bur- 
ied in the grave yard of old "Trenton First Church.'' 

Unfortunately most of the lands occupied by the Scotch- 
Irish were owned by James Allen, a son of Wm. Allen, the 
original proprietor, both of whom were loyalists. When, im- 
mediately subsequent to the Kevolution, the estates of loyal- 
ist landowners throughout the Commonwealth were confis- 
cated, many of the settlers, to avoid litigation, abandoned 
their farms and removed elsewhere. The Irish Settlement 
is now very generally occupied by Germans, but a few names 
of the original settlers remaining extant. 

The Ealston Fort was located as indicated on the map. 
The Brown property adjoins the Kalston farm. Dr. James 
says the fort was on the land owned by these two men, hence 
it was called the Kalston Fort by some and Brown's Fort by 
others. The old map, however, of which mine is partly a 
copy, seems rather to show that it stood especially on the 
Ealston property. The farm is now owned by Samuel Achen- 
bach. It was distant about two miles southwest from the 
present town of Bath, five miles west of north from Bethle- 
hem, four miles east of Catasauqua. It stood between the 
Lehigh river and the Monocacy creek, two miles west of the 
latter. It was about one and a half miles east of the Allen 
Township Presbyterian Church graveyard, near Weaversville, 
of which recent mention has been made. 

To further aid me Dr. James kindly entered into correspond- 
ence with Gen. K, S. Brown, a grandson of General Eobert 
Brown, of the Eevolution. I cannot do better than quote his 
reply in his own language. He says : 

"On the Shaffer farm (now Achenbach farm) in the Settle- 
ment is or was the Block-House you speak of. The first 
stone house in the Settlement was on the Shaffer farm. I don't 
know whether it is still standing (it is — D. M. J.). About 
fifty yards south of the house on the farm which was my sis- 
ter's, was the breastwork, and when my father bought that 
farm I was a boy and helped to haul away the stones behind 


or at the breast work. There men awaited the enemy, the 
women and children were in that house, it was guarded by a 
detachment, and the house was pierced with loop holes to 
fire through. Such is the information I received from m^ 
father, transmitted to him by those who participated. I have 
no doubt of its correctness. I am glad to impart this informa- 
tion to you. After the lapse of a few years even this would 
have been gone. It is well to treasure up these facts, for in 
a generation or two all would have been lost." 

Dr. James adds that the fort seems to have been stone in 
foundation, 7 or 8 feet high, with logs on top of the walls ex- 
tending like an overshoot barn all around, so that an Indian 
could not approach without being seen. Some of its logs are 
still incorporated in a neighboring building. 

It was undoubtedly built by the settlers, but just when is 
not so certain. Dr. James says it was built in 1763, but with 
all due deference I cannot help but think he is mistaken. We 
will remember that the outbreak of hostilities in 1763 was very 
sudden and unexpected, beginning and ending almost literally 
in a day's time. Under these circumstances it can hardly be 
possible that such a substantial defence could have been 
erected. It is possible, of course, that it may have been built 
after the danger was over with a view of preparing for fu- 
ture attacks, but this does not seem to be so likely. I think 
it is more probable that it came into existence during the 
earlier troubles of the Fall of 1755, when the Settlement lost 
so many of its people, and when the savage was almost knock- 
ing at its doors. 

However that may be, it appears to have played an active 
part in the sad drama of 1763, very much similar to that of 
Deshler's Fort. At daybreak on Saturday morning, October 
8th, of that year, as the savages were stealthily approaching 
John Stenton's house to massacre its inmates, they met Jane, 
the wife of James Horner, living near by, who was on her way 
to a neighbor's for some coals with which to light her morn- 
ing fire. 

Fearing she would betray them or raise an alarm they dis- 
patched her with their tomahawks, and then proceeded with 
their bloody work as already narrated. We can readily imag- 


OCTO. 8 ' /?6S 


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/-^ALSTON'S (-OR Bf^OV^n's) FORT 
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Ralsto^'s (_or Showm's; ro/fr 



ine the women and children fleeing to their house of refuge, 
when the alarm was given, and the men occupying their 
stations in the fort. The location of the fort so centrally in 
the Settlement and at some little distance from the scene of 
the Stenton massacre, would seem, in itself, to bear out my 
conjecture as to the time of its erection. 

Mrs. Horner's body lies at rest in the graveyard of the Allen 
Township Presbyterian church, with that of General Brown. 
The inscription on her tomb is as follows : 

"In memory of Jane, wife of James Horner, who suffered 
death by the hands of the Savage Indians October Eighth, 
Seventeen Hundred and Sixty-three, aged fifty years." 

It is to be regretted that we have no further record of the 
Ealston Fort, and yet, upon consideration, we can readily 
understand why such is the case. With this one exception, 
the settlement was fortunately spared the inroads of the foe, 
and happily the history of the fort became one of passive pro- 
tection rather than of active resistance. It did its duty none 
the less, and, none the less, deserves to live in the memory of 

I am glad to be able to give two photographic views of the 
original stone house which stood near the fort, and which 
was used by the women and children as a place of refuge. 
One view is south, the other west and north. 

In my search for this fort I had almost reached the point 
of despair when I learned of an old building at Kreidersville 
called "Fort Hannes" or "The Old Fort." I immediately drove 

Its position corresponded so exactly with that given of 
Brown's Fort that, at first, I could not help feeling I had dis- 
covered what I was seeking. Upon ascertaining its history, 
however, I found how mistaken I had been. Even at the 
risk of causing a smile I feel that the story of "The Old Fort" 
should be here told, to prevent any future liability to error, 
which, I saw, was already beginning to creep in, with the 
lapse of years. Those in the neighborhood, of whom I en- 
quired concerning this building, all knew of it. They were 
unanimous in saying that it was very old, that it most likely 
was built prior to the Indian War, and, whilst they knew 


nothing of its history, they thought it had probably been used 
as a fort at that time. It stood on the road to Siegfrieds, 
one-half mile west of Lerch's bridge across the Hockendau- 
qua, at Kreidersville. They referred me, however, to Mr. Sam- 
uel Lerch, at the bridge, for more complete information. I 
found Mr. Lerch to be an intelligent gentleman, about 70 
years old, who was more than usually well read on matters 
pertaining to the Indian Wars. I immediately made known 
my errand to him. Yes! he was well acquainted with the 
story and location of ^^Fort Hannes,'' and then a smile came 
over his face as he added that he was certain it never played 
any part in the local history of the Indian troubles. He went 
on to explain that a couple named "Hannes" or "Hanus" lived 
in it when he was a boy, who did not bear very good charac- 
ters and who frequently had rather rough gatherings in the 
house. On this account the boys, of whom he was one, nick- 
named it "The Old Fort.'' The ^'boys" have grown up and 
died off, but the name still remains, although the reason for 
giving it and the time when given, have been forgotten. In 
fact my extensive inquiry throughout the locality may have 
originated a belief that ''The Old Fort" was indeed an old 
"Indian Fort." Had it not been for Mr. Lerch, I would have 
been deceived myself, and, as I have previously said, I deem 
it worthy to here insert my experience, as a safeguard for the 


We turn now again, to the regular forts established be the 
Provincial Government. The next in order, and the most im- 
portant of all those along the Blue range, was Fort Allen, 
located where the town of Weissport now stands, on the Le- 
high river some ten miles above Lehigh Gap. 

The Moravian church, if not great in numbers, has ever been 
great in its missionary work. Its early history and that of 
the State of Pennsylvania are closely woven together. Es- 
pecially is this the case with Northampton and Carbon coun- 

*See Appendix 8 for description of Wilson Mill and Block house. 














ties. The first settlement in the latter county was made by 
Moravian missionaries in the year 1746. From Loskiel's his- 
tory we glean the following interesting facts : 

The converted Mohican Indians having been driven out of 
Shekomeko, in New York, near the borders of Connecticut, 
and from Pachgatgoch in the latter state, found an asylum 
for a short time at Friedenshutten, near Bethlehem. Deem- 
ing it inconvenient to maintain a large Indian congregation 
so near Bethlehem, the missionaries purchased one hundred 
and twenty acres, in 1745, on the north side of the Mahoning 
creek, about half a mile above its junction with the Lehigh 
river, near the site of the present town of Lehighton. Here 
a town was laid out, and called Gnadenhutten, meaning 
"Tents of Grace," or more literally "Mercy Huts." The con- 
gregation numbered some five hundred, each Indian family 
being allotted a portion of the land and each having its own 
house. A log church was built in the valley, and the houses 
half surrounded it on one side, extending over the higher 
ground in the form of a crescent; in the other side stood the 
house of the missionary, and the burying ground. All went 
well until the year 1754, when, already, that dissatisfaction 
and spirit of enmity was brewing amongst the Indians which 
finally culminated in the outbreak of 1755. Efforts were 
made by the Shawanese and Delawares, under the direction of 
their wily chief, Teedyuscung, to alienate the Christian Mo- 
hicans at Gnadenthutten, which finally resulted in a part of 
the Indians deserting the mission and going to the Wyoming 
Valley. The road to Wyoming and other Indian towns lay 
through the settlement. This was the famous path over 
Nescopee mountain, still known as the "Warrior's path." The 
Indians who remained were joined by the Christian Dela- 
wares from Meniolagomekah. 

During this same year, 1754, the land on the Mahoning 
being impoverished, the mission was removed to the opposite 
side of the river, where Weissport now stands. A new chapel 
was erected in June, and the buildings, which had also been 
transferred, were put up to form a street, on one side of 
which lived the Mohicans, and, on the other, the Delawares. 


The hostile Indians, who had been enlisted in the French 
service, were so exasperated at the thought that the others 
should remain true to their friends, they determined to cut 
off the settlement. The defeat of Braddock, in 1755, gave 
them the desired opportunity. Soon the whole frontier was 
bathed in blood, and the neighbors of the Brethren at Gnaden- 
hutten forsook their dwellings in terror and fled, but the 
Brethren made a covenant together to remain undaunted in 
the place allotted them by Providence. 

God, however, had ordained otherwise than they had hoped. 
Late in the evening of November 24th, the mission house on 
the Mahoning creek was suddenly attacked by the French 
Indians, burnt, and eleven of the inhabitants murdered. 

The family, being at supper, heard an uncommon barking 
of dogs, upon which brother Senseman sent out at the back 
door to see what was the matter. On the report of a gun, 
several ran together to open the house-door. Here the In- 
dians stood with their pieces pointed towards the door, and, 
firing immediately upon its being opened, Martin Nitschman 
was instantly killed. His wife and some others were wounded, 
but fled with the rest upstairs into the garret, and barricaded 
the door with bedsteads. Brother Partsch escaped by jump- 
ing out of a back window. Brother Worbas, who was ill in 
bed in a house adjoining, jumped likewise out of a back win- 
dow and escaped, though the enemies had placed a guard 
before his door. Meanwhile the savages pursued those who 
had taken refuge in the garret, and strove hard to burst the 
door open; but, finding it too well secured, they set fire to 
the house, which was soon in flames. A boy, called Stur- 
geons, standing upon the flaming roof, ventured to leap off, 
and escaped; though at first, upon opening the back door, a 
ball had grazed his cheek, and one side of his head was much 
burnt. Sister Partsch, seeing this, took courage and leaped 
likewise from the burning roof. She came down unhurt, and 
unobserved from the enemies; and thus the fervent prayer of 
her husband was fulfilled, who, in jumping out of the back 
window, cried aloud to God to save his wife. Brother Fabri- 
cius then leaped also off the roof, but before he could escape 







was perceived by the Indians, and instantly wounded by two 
balls. He was the only one whom they seized upon alive, 
and, having dispatched him with their hatchets, too^ his 
scalp, and left him dead upon the ground. The rest were all 
burnt alive, and brother Senseman, who first went out at the 
back door, had the inexpressible grief to see his wife con- 
sumed by the flames. Sister Partsch could not run far for 
fear and trembling, but hid herself behind a tree, upon a hill 
near the house. From thence she saw sister Senseman, al- 
ready surrounded by the flames, standing with folded hands, 
and heard her call out, ^'Tis all well, dear Saviour — I expected 
nothing else." The house being consumed, the murderers 
set fire to the barns and stables, by which all the corn, hay 
and cattle were destroyed. Then they divided the spoil, 
soaked some bread in milk, made a hearty meal, and departed 
— sister Partsch looking on unperceived. 

This melancholy event proved the deliverance of the Indian 
congregation at New Gnadenhutten ; for, upon hearing the re- 
port of the guns, seeing the flames, and soon learning the 
dreadful cause from those who had escaped, the Indian breth- 
ren immediately went to the missionary, and offered to attack 
the enemy without delay. But, being advised to the contrary, 
they all fled into the woods, and New Gnadenhutten was 
cleared in a few minutes; some who already were in bed hav- 
ing scarce time to dress themselves. Brother Zeisberger, who 
had just arrived in New Gnadenhutten from Bethlehem, has- 
tened back to give notice of this event to a body of English 
militia, which had marched within five miles of the spot; but 
they did not venture to pursue the enemy in the dark. 

The fugitive congregation arrived safely at Bethlehem. After 
the Indians had retired the remains of those killed on the Ma- 
honing were carefully collected from the ashes and ruins, and 
solemnly interred. A broad marble slab, in the grave yard 
south of Lehighton, placed there in 1788, and a small white 
obelisk on a sandstone base, erected at a more recent date, tell 
in brief the story of Gnadenhutten and preserve the names of 
those who fell as victims to savage hate. 

We have just noticed the timely arrival of brother David 


Zeisberger at New Gnadenhutten. He hastened back to Beth- 
lehem and notified Timothy Horsfield of the massacre, who, in 
turn^ at once reported the fact to the Governor, giving him 
a detailed account of the terrible affair. At 8.00 A. M., No- 
vember 24th, Col. Anderson, and his company left Bethlehem 
for Gnadenhutten, accompanied by a number of the settlers. 
On the 26th, Oapt. Wilson and his company, from Bucks county, 
started for the mountains. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 521). 

To this the Governor replies, November 29th, approving of 
the steps that had been taken, expressing great sorrow for 
the atrocities which had been perpetrated, and promising 
pecuniary relief to the Moravian brethren for their heavy 
losses. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 513). 

By the middle of December the whole country was in a 
state of alarm; the people were fleeing from their homes; the 
Governor reported to the Council that, in addition to what 
has been narrated, the Indians had already burnt fifty houses 
in Northampton county, murdered above one hundred per- 
sons, and were still continuing their ravages. (Col. Eec, vi, 
p. 767). 

A thorough and systematic plan of defence was a matter of 
immediate necessity. Benjamin Franklin and James Hamil- 
ton were selected to execute such a plan and, on December 
18th, arranged to start for Easton. On December 29th, after 
their arrival at said place, they appointed William Parsons 
to be Major of the troops raised in Northampton county. 

In the meantime Capt. Hays, with his company from the 
Irish Settlement, in Northampton county, had been ordered 
up to New Gnadenhutten. The troops were stationed at the 
forsaken village to guard the Brethren's mills, which were 
filled with grain, and to keep the property of the Christian 
Indians from being destroyed. They were also expected to 
protect the few settlers who remained. 

A temporary stockade was erected, and all would have 
gone well had the soldiers been better versed in Indian tac- 
tics. From lack of this experience disaster followed, and on 
January 1st, 1756, a number of the men fell victims to an In- 


dian stratagem. Whilst amusing themselves skating on the 
ice of the river, near the stockade, they caught sight of two 
Indians farther up the frozen stream. Thinking that it would 
be an easy matter to capture or kill them the soldiers gave 
chase, and rapidly gained upon the Indians, who proved to 
be decoys skillfully manoeuvring to draw them into an am- 
bush. After they had gone some distance a party of Indians 
rushed out behind them, cut off their retreat, and, falling 
upon them with great fury, as well as with the advantage of 
surprise and superior numbers quickly dispatched them. Some 
of the soldiers, remaining in the stockade, filled with horror by 
this murder of their comrades, deserted, and the few remaining, 
thinking themselves incapable of defending the place, withdrew. 
The savages then seized upon such property as they could 
use and fired the stockade, the Indian houses and the mills. 

Every one was filled with alarm and the whole country be- 
came a scene of confusion. It is not to be wondered at if in 
the midst of their excitement and terror, the people made 
many unreasonable demands of the Government. To such 
an extent does this seem to have been done that Governor 
Morris became somewhat discouraged. On January 5, 1756, 
he writes from Eeading to the Council at Philad'a, saying: 

"The Commissioners have done everything that was proper 
in the County of Northampton, but the People are not satis- 
fied, nor, by what I can learn from the Commissioner, would 
they be unless every Man's House was protected by a Fort 
and a Company of Soldiers, and themselves paid for staying 
at home and doing nothing. There are in that County at this 
Time three hundred Men in Pay of the Government, and yet 
from Disposition of the Inhabitants, the want of Conduct in 
the Officers and of Courage and Discipline in the Men, I am 
fearful that the whole County will fall into the Enemy's 

Yesterday and the Day before I received the melancholy 
News of the Destruction of the Town of Gnadenhutten, and of 
the greatest part of the Guard of forty Men placed there in 
order to erect a Fort. The particulars you will see by the 


inclosed Papers, so far as they are yet come to hand, but I 
am in hourly Expectation of further Intelligence by two Men 
that I dispatched for that Purpose upon the first News of the 
Affair, whose long stay makes me apprehend some mischief has 
befallen them. 

Last night an Express brought me an acco't that seven 
Farm Houses between Gnadenhutten and Nazareth were on 
the First Instant burnt, about the same time that Gnadenhut- 
ten was, and some of the People destroyed, and the accounts 
are this date confirmed. 

Upon this fresh alarm it is proposed that one of the Com- 
missioners return to Bethlehem and Easton, and there give 
fresh Directions to the Troops and post them in the best Man- 
ner for the Protection of the remaining Inhabitants." (Col. 
Kec, vi, p. 771). 

Here then we have the inception of Fort Allen. It seems 
that, in the middle of December, the erection of a fort at New 
Gnadenhutten had been determined upon, partly because of 
the valuable property remaining there after the Moravians 
had deserted it, and partly because of its commanding and 
central location. Messr's Franklin and Hamilton, the Com- 
missioners, had ordered Capt. Hays to that point during the 
latter part of the month, not alone to guard the material 
which was there, but, in addition to build the fort. We have 
just read of his unfortunate failure, and have also seen the 
Governor's suggestion to send one of the Commissioners to 
the scene of hostilities, to take in hand and give proper direc- 
tion to efforts for protection then making. Benjamin Frank- 
lin was the Commissioner selected for that duty, and, at once, 
entered upon it. He immediately started for Bethlehem, from 
which place he writes, January 14th, to the Governor, as fol- 

^*As we drew near this Place we met a Number of Waggons, 
and many People moving off with their effects and families 
from the Irish Settlement and Lehi Township, being terrified 
by the defeat of Hay's Company, and the Burnings and Mur- 
ders committed in the Township on New Year's Day. We found 


this Place fiird with Eefugees, the workmen's Shops and 
even Cellars being crowded with Women & Children; and we 
learnt that Lehi Township is almost entirely abandoned by 
the Inhabitants. Soon after my arrival here, the principal 
People of the Irish Settlement, as Wilson, elder Craig, &c. 
came to me and demanded an Addition of 30 men to Craig's 
Company, or threat'ned they would immediately one and all 
leave that Country to the Enemy. Hay's Company was re- 
duc'd to 18 Men (and those without Shoes, Stockings, Blan- 
kets or Arms) partly by the loss at Gnadenhutten, and partly 
by Desertion. Trump and Aston had made but slow Progress 
in building the First Fort, complaining for want of Tools, 
which it was thought the People in those Parts might have 
Supply'd them with. Wayne's Company we found posted at 
Nazareth agreeable to your Honour's Orders. I immediately 
directed Hays to compleat his Company, and he went down 
to Bucks County with M'r Beatty, who promised to assist 
him in Kecruiting. His Lieutenant lies here lame with frozen 
Feet, and unfit for Action; But the Ensign, with the 18 men, 
is posted among the present Frontier Inhabitants to give 
some Satisfaction to the Settlement People, as I refus'd to in- 
crease Craig's Company. In my turn, I have threatened to 
disband ov remove the Companies already posted for the Se- 
curity of particular Townships, if the People would not stay 
on their Places, behave like Men, do something for them- 
selves, and assist the Province Soldiers. The Day after my 
Arrival here, I sent off 2 Waggons loaded with Bread, and 
some Axes, for Trump & Aston, to Nazareth, escorted by 
Lieut. Davis, and the 20 men of McLaughlin's that came with 
me; I ordered him to remain at Nazareth to guard that place 
while Capt. Wayne, whose Men were fresh, proceeded with 
the Convoy. To secure Lyn and Heidelberg Township, whose 
Inhabitants were just on the Wing, I took Trexler's Com- 
pany into Pay, (he had been before commission'd by M'r 
Hamilton), and I Commission'd Wetterholt (Nicholas) who 
Commanded a Watch of 44 Men before in the Pay of the Prov- 
ince, ordering him to Compleat his Company. I have also 
allowed thirty men to secure the township of Upper Smith field 



and commission'd Van Etten and Hindshaw as Captain and 
Lieutenant. And in order to execute more speedily the first 
Design of erecting a Fort near Gnadenhutten to compleat the 
Line and get the Eangers in Motion, I have rais'd another 
Company under Cap't Charles Foulk, to join with Wayne in 
that Service; and as Hays I hear is not likely soon to recruit 
his Company, I have ordered Orndt to come up from Rockland 
in Bucks County to Strengthen this Part of the Province, con- 
voy Provisions, &c. to the company, who are and will be at 
work over the Mountains, and quiet the Inhabitants who 
seem terrified out of their Senses." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 549). 

In addition to the official report made by Franklin, showing 
how he was gradually bringing order out of chaos, we have 
also his private account in his autobiography of what took 
place at Bethlehem and how, in person, he went to Gnaden- 
hutten and superintended the erection of Fort Allen. In his 
usual modest way he says: 

^'While the several companies in the city and country were 
forming, and learning their exercise, the Governor prevailed 
with me to take charge of our northwestern frontier, which 
was infested by the enemy, and provide for the defence of the 
inhabitants by raising troops, and building a line of forts. I 
undertook this military business, though I did not conceive 
myself well qualified for it. He gave me a commission with 
full powers, and a parcel of blank commissions for officers, 
to be given to whom I thought fit. I had but little difficulty in 
raising men, having soon five hundred and sixty under my 
command. My son, who had in the preceding war been an 
officer in the army raised against Canada, was my aid-de- 
camp and of great use to me. The Indians had burned Gna- 
denhutten, a village settled by the Moravians, and massacred 
the inhabitants; but the place was thought a good situation 
for one of the forts. In order to march thither, I assembled 
the companies at Bethlehem, the chief establishment of those 
people. I was surprised to find it in so good a posture of de- 
fence; the destruction of Gnadenhutten had made them ap- 
prehend danger. The principal buildings were defended by a 
stockade; they had purchased a quantity of arms and ammu- 


nition from New York, and had even placed quantities of 
small paving stones between the windows of their high stone 
houses, for their women to throw them down upon the heads 
of any Indians that should attempt to force their way into 
them. The armed brethren too kept watch, and relieved each 
other on guard methodically as in any garrison town. In con- 
versation with the bishop, Spangenberg, I mentioned my sur- 
prise; for knowing they had obtained an act of parliament 
exempting them from military duties in the colonies, I had 
supposed they were conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms. 
He answered me, "That it was not one of their established 
principles; but at the time of their obtaining that act it was 
thought to be a principle with many of their people. On this 
occasion, however, they, to their surprise, found it adopted 
by but few." It seems they were either deceived in them- 
selves, or deceived the parliament ; but common sense, aided by 
present danger, will sometimes be too strong for whimsical 

It was the beginning of January, 1756, when we set out 
upon this business of building forts. I sent one detachment 
towards the Minisink, with instructions to erect one for the 
security of that upper part of the country ; and another to the 
lower part with similar instructions; and I concluded to go 
myself with the rest of my forces to Gnadenhutten, where a 
fort was thought more immediately necessary. The Moravians 
procured me five wagons for our tools, stores, baggage, &c. 
Just before we left Bethlehem, eleven farmers, who had been 
driven from their plantations by the Indians, came to me 
requesting a supply of fire arms, that they might go back 
and bring off their cattle. I gave them each a gun with suit- 
able ammunition. We had not marched many miles before it 
began to rain, and it continued raining all day. There were 
no habitations on the road to shelter us, till we arrived 
near night at the house of a German, where, and in his 
barn, we were all huddled together as wet as water could 
make us. It was well we were not attacked in our march 
for our arms were of the most ordinary sort, and the men 
could not keep the looks of their guns dry. The Indians are 


dextrous in their contrivances for that purpose, which we had 
not. They met that day the eleven poor farmers above men- 
tioned, and killed ten of them ; the one that escaped informed us 
that his and his companions' guns would not go off, the priming 
being wet with the rain. The next day being fair, we con- 
tinued our march, and arrived at the desolate Gnadenhutten ; 
there was a mill near, round which were left several pine 
boards, with which we soon hutted ourselves; an operation 
the more necessary at that inclement season, as we had no 
tents. Our first work was to bury more effectually the dead 
we found there, who had been half interred by the country 
people; the next morning our fort was planned and marked 
out, the circumference measuring four hundred and fifty-five 
feet, which would require as many palisades to be made, one 
with another of a foot diameter each. Each pine made three 
palisades of eighteen feet long, pointed at one end. When they 
were set up, our carpenters built a platform of boards all 
round within, about six feet high, for the men to stand on when 
to fire through the loop holes. We had one swivel gun, which 
we mounted on one of the angles, and fired it as soon as fixed, 
to let the Indians know, if any were within hearing, that we 
had such pieces; and thus our fort (if that name may be given 
to so miserable a stockade) was finished in a week, though it 
rained so hard every other day that the men could not well 

This kind of fort, however contemptible, is a sufficient de- 
fence against Indians who had no cannon. Finding ourselves 
now posted securely, and having a place to retreat to on oc- 
casion, we ventured out in parties to scour the adjacent coun- 

Franklin's official report of January 26th, and personal let- 
ter to Gov. Morris of January 25th, which give more minute 
details of the fort, were as follows: 

Fort Allen, at Gnadenhutten, Jan. 25, 1756. 
Dear Sir: 

We got to Hays the same evening we left you, and re- 
viewed Craig's Company by the way. Much of the next morn- 


ing was spent in exchanging the bad arms for good — ^Wayne's 
Company having joined us. We reached, however, that night 
to Uplinger's [at Fort Lehigh, as we have seen], where we got 
into good Quarters. 

Saturday morning we began to march towards Gnadenhut- 
ten, and proceeded near two miles; but it seeming to set in 
for a rainy day, the Men unprovided with great Coats, and 
many unable to secure effectually their arms from the wet, 
we thought it most advisable to face about and return to our 
former Quarters, where the men might dry themselves and lie 
warm; whereas, had they proceeded they would have come 
in wet to Gnadenhutten where Shelter and Opportunity of 
drying themselves that night was uncertain. In fact it rain'd 
all day and we were all pleased that we had not proceeded. 
The next Day, being Sunday, we march'd hither, where we ar- 
rived about 2 in the afrternoon, and before 5 had inclosed our 
Camp with a Strong Breast work. Musket Proof, and with the 
Boards brought here before by my Order from Drucker's Mill 
[Wm. Kern's Mill at Slatington, as we have seen], got our- 
selves under some shelter from the Weather. Monday was 
so dark with thick Fog all day, that we could'd neither look 
out for a Place to build or see where Materials were to be 
had. Tuesday morning we looked round us. Pitched on a 
Place, mark'd out our Fort on the Ground, and by 10 o'clock 
began to cut Timber for Stockades and to dig the Ground. By 
3 in the afternoon the Logs were all cut and many of them 
hailed to the Spot, the Ditch dug to Set them in 3 Feet deep, 
and that Evening many were pointed and set up. The next 
Day we were hinder'd by Kain most of the Day. Thursday 
we resum'd our Work and before night were pretty well en- 
closed, and on Friday morning the Stockade was finished and 
part of the Platform within erected, which was compleated 
the next morning, when we dismissed Foulk's and Wetter- 
holt's Companies, and sent Hay's down for a Convoy of Pro- 
visions. This Day we hoisted your Flag, made a general Dis- 
charge of our Pieces, which had been long loaded, and of our 
two Swivels, and Nam'd the Place Fort Allen, in Honor of our 
old Friend [Judge William Allen, father of James Allen who 
laid out AUentown in 1762, and also Chief Justice of the Prov- 


ince]. It is 125 Feet long, 50 wide, the Stocadoes most of 
them a Foot thick ; they are 3 Foot in the Ground and 12 Feet 
out, pointed at the Top, the Figure nearly as opposite. 

This is an Account of our Week's work, which I thought 
might give you some Satisfaction. 

Foulk is gone to build another [Fort Franklin], between this 
and Schuylkill Fort [Fort Lebanon], which I hope will be 
finished (as Trexler is to Join him) in a Week or 10 Days: As 
soon as Hays returns I shall detach another Party to erect 
another at Surfas' [Fort Norris] which I hope may be finished 
in the same Time, and then I purpose to end my Campaign, 
God willing, and do myself the Pleasure of seeing you in re- 
turn. I can now add no more than that I am, with great Es- 
teem and affection, D'r Friend, 

Yours affectionately, 

The Honourable Robert Hunter Morris, Esquire. 

(Col. Rec, vii, p. 15). 

His official report was as follows: 

Fort Allen, at Gnadenhutten, 

Jan'y 26, 1756. 

We left Bethlehem, the 10th Instant, with Foulk's Company, 
46 men, the Detachment of McLaughlin's, 20 ; and 7 Waggons, 
laden with Stores and Provisions. We got that night to Hay's 
Quarters, where Wayne's Company joined us from Nazareth. 

The next Day we marched cautiously thro' the Gap of the 
Mountain, a very dangerous Pass, and got to Uplinger's, but 
twenty-one Miles from Bethlehem, the Roads being bad and 
the Waggons moving slowly. 

[Here comes an account of the week's work, as previously 
given] . 

This present Monday we are erecting a third House in the 
Fort to accommodate the Garrison. 

As soon as Cap't Hays returns with the Convoy of Stores 
and Provisions, which I hope may be tomorrow, I propose to 
send Orndt and Hays to Join Cap't Trump in erecting the 
middle Fort there, purposing to remain here between them and 


Foulk; ready to assist and supply both as occasion may re- 
quire, and hope in a week or ten Days, weather favouring, 
those two Forts may be finished and the Line of Forts com- 
pleated and garrisoned, the rangers in Motion, and the internal 
Guards and Watches disbanded, as well as some other Com- 
panies, unless they are permitted and encouraged to go after 
the Enemy to Susquehannah. 

At present the Expense in this County is prodigious. We 
have on Foot, and in Pay, the Following Companies : 

Trump, 50 men , 

Aston, 50 

Wayne, 55 

Foulk, 46 ] 

Trexler, 48 j-without the Forks. 

Wetterholt, 44 J 

Orndt, 50 

,, , . ^^ Hu the Irish Settlement. 

Martin, 30 

Van Etten, 30 Minisinks. 

Hays, 45 

Detachment of Mc- 
Laughlin, 20 

Parsons 24 at Easton. 


This, Sir, is a particular Account of our Transactions and 
the present State of affairs in this County. I am glad to learn 
by your Favour of the 21st Just received, that you have 
Thoughts of coming to Bethlehem, as I may hope for an Op- 
portunity of waiting upon your Honour there after our Works 
are finished, and communicating everything more fully. I 
now only add that I am, with dutiful Kespect. 

Sir, Your Honour's most obedient humble Servant, 

To Gov'r Morris. (Col. Eec, vii, p. 16) . 

A word more with regard to Franklin, and his connection 
with Fort Allen. In his autobiography he adds to what has 
already been given: 


"I had hardly finished this business and got my fort well 
stored with provisions, when I received a letter from the Gov- 
ernor, acquainting me that he had called the Assembly, and 
wished my attendance there, if the posture of affairs on the 
frontiers was such that my remaining there was no longer 
necessary. My friends, too, of the Assembly, pressing me by 
their letter to be if possible at the meeting, and my three in- 
tended forts being now completed, and the inhabitants con- 
tented to remain on their farms under that protection, I re- 
solved to return ; the more willingly as a New England Officer, 
Col. Olapham, experienced in Indian War, being on a visit to 
our establishment, consented to accept the Command. I gave 
him a commission, and, parading the garrison, had it read be- 
fore them, and introduced him to them as an officer who, from 
his skill in military affairs, was much more fit to command 
them than myself; and, giving them a little exhortation, took 
my leave. I was escorted as far as Bethlehem, where I rested 
a few days to recover from the fatigue I had undergone. The 
first night, lying in a good bed, I could hardly sleep, it was so 
different from my hard lodging on the floor of a hut at Gna- 
den-Huetten, with only a blanket or two.'^ 

Thus he returned to Bethlehem after an absence of but nine- 
teen days. His military experience was limited, it is true, but 
he showed in it the same good judgment and common sense 
which made him the great man he afterwards became in civil 

The very complete description which has been given of Fort 
Allen, by those who took part in the tragic drama enacting at 
that time, fixes so definitely the time of its construction, and 
narrates so minutely its size, shape and appearance, as to 
make even comment unnecessary. It only remains to connect 
its past with our present by pointing out the position where it 
stood as compared with modern locations and buildings. I 
can do this no better than by means of the map herewith 

The site of Fort Allen, in Weissport, Carbon County, is 
now occupied by the "Fort Allen Hotel," which stands on the 
S. W. corner of Bridge street and Franklin street, about 150 


yards east of the bridge across the Lehigh river to Lehighton. 
The old well is still in existence, although unused, and may be 
seen in the yard back of the hotel. 

Col. Clapliam, who relieved Mr. Franklin at Fort Allen, in 
the supervision of matters in general, was only appointed 
temporarily to that duty. The entire country from the Sus- 
quehanna to the Delaware was under the command of Col. 
Weiser, and under the care of his First Battalion of the Penn'a 
Kegiment. Col. Clapham was given command of what was 
called the "Augusta Regiment'' with instructions to erect 
sundry forts along the Susquehanna, more especially Fort 
Augusta at Shamokin (Sunbury). The last of Col. Clapham's 
men left April 19th. Fort Allen then seems to have been left 
in care of Captain Foulk. Major Parsons, in writing to the 
Governor from Easton on June 15th, 1756, says, "I purpose to 
let Capt. Foulk's Lieu't and Men remain in Fort Allen till 
Capt. Reynolds comes to relieve them." (Col. Rec, vii, p. 164). 

It was at this time that Commissary James Young, on his 
tour of inspection, reached Fort Allen. His diary reads as 
follows : 

Fort Allen.— At 8 A. M. June 22d We sett out for Fort 
Allen, at Gnadenhutten (from Fort Franklin) ; it is ab't 15 
miles from Alleminga; the first 7 miles of this Road is very 
hilly, Barran, and Swampy, no Plantations; the other part of 
the Road is, for the most part, thro' a Rich Valley, Chiefly 
Meadow Ground. Several Settlements, but all the houses 
Burnt and deserted ; at Noon we came to the Fort ; for the last 
half hour before we came here, had a very severe Gust of 
Thunder, Lightning, and Prodigious heavy Rain. 

This Fort stands on the River Leahy, in the Pass, thro' Very 
high hills & in my Opinion, in a very important Place, and 
may be of great Service, if the officer does his Duty. It is very 
well Stoccaded with four Good Bastions, on one is a Sweivle 
Gun; the Woods are Clear all around it for a Considerable 
way, and is very Defencable; within is three good Barracks 
and a Guard Room ; I found here 15 men without any officer or 
Commander ; they told me that Lieu't Jacob Meis and two men 
from the Fort was gone this morning (22'd June), with two 


Gentlemen from Bethlehem, and four Indians, 15 miles up the 
Country to bring down some friendly Indians, and that the 
Serjant with 3 men were gone to Cap'tn Foulks, late Com- 
mander here, to receive the Pay that was due to them, and 
one was gone to Bethlehem with the Serjant's Watch to Mend, 
which was the Reason I could not muster those Present, nor 
have any acc't of the Provisions, but saw a large Quantity of 
Beef very ill Cured. I was inform'd that a Cap'tn with a New 
Comp'y was Expected there in a Day or two to take Post at 
this Fort. Being very uncertain when the Lieu'tn would re- 
turn, or the New Comp'y Come, I resolved to Proceed to Leahy 
Gapp, where a Detachment of a Comp'y is Posted. — 27 Mus- 
kets, 50 Cartooch Boxes, 10 lb Powder, 60 lb Lead, and 20 
Rounds filled for 25 Men, 19 Axes, 4 broad Do., 26 Hatchets, 
43 Tomhauks, 3 Iron Wages, 1 Sweivle Gun." (Penn. Arch., 
ii, p. 678). 

It will be noticed that Lieu't Mies had gone up the country 
to bring down, in safety, a party of friendly Indians. In ex- 
planation of this it should be said that, owing to the great 
pressure brought upon him, Gov'r Morris, on April 14th, 1756, 
was obliged to issue a proclamation offering bounties for In- 
dian scalps. (Col. Rec, vii, p. 88). As a consequence various 
parties were formed to hunt up Indian scalps. Amongst them 
was one numbering about one hundred men, from the Jerseys, 
which started out in the early part of June. Unfortunately at 
the same time Gov'r Morris had declared a cessation from 
hostilities for thirty days, to see if he could not make a treaty 
with the Susquehanna Indians, and desired to send some 
friendly Indians, as messengers, to Diahoga, at the mouth of 
the Cayhuga branch of that river, near the present Owego, 
Tioga county, New York State, to arrange a time and place 
for holding a conference looking towards this end. These 
could not be sent if the scalping party was out. An express 
was immediately dispatched to Gov. Belcher; also one to Col. 
John Anderson, to see if it could not be recalled. In the 
meantime the friendly Indians, intended as messengers to the 
hostiles, were obliged to remain at Bethlehem. At this time, 
on June 21st, two Delaware Indians, whose names were Nico- 


demus, and Christian, his son, former residents of Gnadenhut- 
ten, reached Bethlehem from Diahoga, and informed the au- 
thorities that they had left Diahoga with a company of others, 
friendly to the English, men, women and children, to the 
number of fifteen. These now lay a day's journey from Fort 
Allen, awaiting safe escort. It was to bring in these friendly 
Indians that Lieut. Mies had gone away from the fort. 

Further efforts finally effected a meeting between the Gov- 
ernor and Teedyuscung, the Delaware Chief, at Easton, about 
the middle of July, which resulted in an agreement to bring 
about a treaty of peace, with the understanding that all Eng- 
lish prisoners held by the Indians should first be released, to 
which the latter seemed to agree quite readily. Having been 
given presents, the Chief departed to arrange for the carrying 
out of his part of the program. All his movements, however, 
were so dilatory as to cause grave suspicion with regard to the 
sincerity of his purpose. He loitered along the frontiers, went 
away and came back again, until finally, in the early part of 
August, we find him at Fort Allen, where the Lieutenant in 
command kept plying him with rum, until he was in no con- 
dition to move away, much to the detriment of the Province, 
and to the disgrace of said officer. This brings us to another 
chapter in the history of the fort. 

In the latter part of June, as we have already seen, Capt. 
Foulk's command at Fort Allen was relieved by Capt. Keynolds 
Company. This latter gentleman seems to have been rather 
young and inexperienced to manage the rough spirits about 
him. Amongst these was his Lieutenant, whose name was 
Miller, a man apparently of no principles, with no desire nor 
power to preserve discipline, and ever ready to increase his 
own worldly possessions at the expense of others, rather pre- 
ferring to do so by foul means than by fair. The first exploit 
of this person, at Fort Allen, was in connection with Teed- 
yuscung, who was a typical Indian chief, brave, shrewd and 
dignified under ordinary circumstances, but cursed with the 
only civilization which the white man seems to have been able 
to generally implant in the Indian nature, the love of strong 


drink. As we know, it was most important that the Delaware 
chief should speedily get back to his people, which was the 
only hope existing of a return to peace and a cessation of the 
barbarous murders constantly occurring. Instead of further- 
ing the efforts of the Government, Lieut. Miller deliberately 
detained Teedyuscung by keeping him constantly drunk with 
rum which he sold him, and, in addition, made him angry by 
cheating him out of various articles in his possession. What 
effect this had in delaying negotiations at this time, and how 
many lives were sacrificed thereby, it is impossible to say. 

We cannot relate the circumstances more clearly than Ma- 
jor Parsons has done in his letter of August 14th, 1756, from 
Easton, to Gov. Morris. He says : 

Honored Sir, 

Yesterday afternoon the Detachment that escorted the In- 
dians from Bethlehem to Fort Allen returned, and with them 
came Ben and another Indian Man of Teedyuscung's Ketinue, 
who intend to go to Philad'a and stay there. 

I ask'd Ben after Teedyuscung, and the Keason of his stay- 
ing so long at the Fort, and what his Keason was for leaving 
the King. He told me his Keason for returning was that he 
saw nothing but want and Hunger before him if he went to 
Diahogo, whereupon he told the King that he was now going 
to a People whose Language he was entirely unacquainted 
with, and therefore he could not be of any Service to him 
with them; that he would stay with the English till the King 
returned again, when he would very cheerfully serve him as 
an Interpreter to the English as he now had done. 

This pass'd last Wednesday, when Ben waited upon the 
King about 12 miles from the Fort, (on his way to Diahogo) 
where Ben left him with the other Indians. So that it seemed 
unnecessary for me to go up to the Fort, the Indians being 
really gone from it. 

As to the stay of the Indians at the Fort, Ben gives a most 
villainous account of the Lieut, there, while the Captain was 
at Philad'a. He says that Teedyuscung had procured 16 Deer 
Skins, which he intended to have sent as a present to the Gov- 
ernor to make him a pair of Gloves, as he said ; the Lieut, told 


the King that one Skin was enough to make a pair of Gloves, 
and kept teezing him and plying him with Rum till the old 
Man was off his Guard. Ben told the King he hoped he would 
not go from his Design of sending the Skins to the Governor, 
and told the Lieut, that he did not understand Indian affairs, 
that the King knew very well that the Governor could not use 
16 Skins in making a pair of Gloves but that that was the In- 
dian way of speaking. But all was to no purpose, and the 
Lieut, got the 16 Skins for three pounds, which Money Ben 
counted himself, but does not know what became of it. Ben 
says further, that as long as the Indians had money, the Lieut, 
sold them Bum, so that they were almost always drunk; and 
he believes that if they had been refused Rum at their first 
coming to the Fort, the King and his Company would not 
have stay'd long there, but would have proceeded to Diahogo, 
and would not have Stay'd and eaten all their Store of Pro- 
visions before they left the Fort. 

Ben informs further that they had discovered the Tracks of 
about 20 strange Indians coming from Susquehannah and going 
towards Minnisinks. That they suppose these Indians are 
out upon some bad Design as they marched mostly a Breast 
or aside of one another whereas the Indian manner is, when 
they have no unfriendly or hostile Intentions, always to march 
one after the other. Your Honour will yourself hear things 
more particularly from Ben. He was very free from Liquor 
and very clear and intelligible when he gave me this acc't. 
I am 

Your Honour's 
most obedient 
humble servant, 

(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 745). WM. PARSONS. 

Not only did Lieut. Miller engage in the nefarious business 
just narrated, but he seems to have dishonestly taken the 
liquor furnished by the Government to sell to the Indians. 
With such an example before them it is not to be expected 
that the men under him would behave much better. Neither 
did they, for in the beginning of August, whilst the Indians 
were still there one of the non-commissioned officers, Corporal 


Weyrick, committed a disgraceful act of rank insubordination, 
indeed one of actual mutiny. 

Captain Nicholas Wetterholt, then at Fort Hamilton, learn- 
ing of the occurrance, immediately notified Major Parsons, 
who replied, on Aug. 12th, from Easton, as follows: 


I received your letter of the 6th Instant, relating to the 
Mutiny at Fort Allen, excited by Christian Weyrick, a Cor- 

I therefore desire you to go with a Detachment of your own 
men, and take the said Christian Weyrick and bind him fast 
& send him to the County Gaol at Easton, for exciting a Mu- 
tiny on the 5th Day of August Instant, at Fort Allen, be sure 
to secure him very well. 

Also, I desire you to put the Lieut, under Arrest for not 
endeavoring to Suppress a Mutiny, excited by Christian Wey- 
rick, the 5th Instant, at Fort Allen. I think it will be best to 
order the Lieut, to Fort Norris, 'till further Orders. If these 
Mutinies are not suppress'd in the Beginning, it will be impos- 
sible to preserve Order among the Forces. If Capt. Keynolds 
is not return'd to the Fort, I would have you take Care not 
to leave the Fort without a Commissioned Officer to command 
it, in his absence. I hope you will not lose any time in doing 
what is above directed you. 

I am, &c., 

W. P. 

P. S. — I am also informed that the Lieut, has been guilty of 
selling and embezelling the publick Stores, at Fort Allen. 
(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 741). 

Capt. Orndt also seems to have written to Major Parsons on 
the subject, as we see by the reply of the latter, on August 


This morning early I received your 3 Letters of the 12th, 
13th & 14th Instant. That relating to Lieut. Miller I shall 
transmit immediately to his Honour the Governor, and in the 
mean time approve what you have done with regard to the 


Lieut. Capt. Reynolds has Powder & Lead, and can spare 6 
tt) of powder & 20 lb of Lead to the Forces at Trucker's Mill, 
and if you order any Body for it they may show him this Let- 
ter. I ordered Capt. Wetterhold to go to Fort Allen and ar- 
rest the man that had been so mutinous, for exciting a Mutiny, 
and to send him bound to the prison at Easton. I ordered 
him also to put the Lieut, under arrest for not endeavoring to 
suppress a Mutiny lately raised at Fort Allen, and to order 
him, the Lieut, to Fort Norris till further Orders, but I have 
not heard one Word from Capt. Wetterhold in answer to my 
Orders, and wonder very much that he is so negligent. I de- 
sire you to let him know that I expect he will pay immediate 
Obedience to his Orders as above. I am very much concerned 
to hear the Indians keep lurking about Swaratauro, and that 
they can't be drove away from that place. 

(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 742). I am, &c. 

Captain Wetterholt was never neglectful of his duty, as we 
can see from what Major Parsons says of him in the following 
letter to the Governor, written August 15th, the same day as 
that to Capt. Orndt, which I take the liberty of quoting in full 
because of other matters of interest contained in it : 
Honoured Sir; 

In my Letter to your Honour of the 8th I mentioned my De- 
sign of going to Fort Allen to learn the Occasion of King 
Teedyuscung's Stay there but was prevented by other publick 
affairs from going as I intended, but I believe by my letter of 
yesterday your Honour will see the Reason of his stay at the 

On the 10th I received a Letter from Mr. Horsfield, inform- 
ing me that four of the Indians that came with Teedyuscung, 
and who had returned with him to the Fort, came back to 
Bethlehem: He likewise informed me that two of them de- 
sired to be escorted to Philad'a which he had prevailed with 
the Brethren to do. The other two with a Woman and Child 
wanted to go to Fort Allen, and desired me to send a Detach- 
ment to escort them there; which I did that Ev'ning and re- 


peated my Orders to the Commanding Officer to build a Shade 
for the Indians and not to let them have more than a Gill of 
Bum a Man Per Day. And I believe these orders were the 
Keason of the Icing's resolving to go; and Ben is of the same 
Opinion. I only wait for Capt. Wetterhold, from whom I ex- 
pect to hear (or to see him) this Day, and then shall pay them 
a visit at the Fort, unless I can be satisfied otherways. The 
occasion of my expecting Capt. Wetterhold soon, is that on 
the 10 th I heard there had been some Disorders committed 
at Fort Allen, and that he had been there and assisted in set- 
ting them right again, but received no written Information 
from any Body. I thought it necessary to send immediately 
to Capt. Wetterhold for an account of what he had seen amiss 
at Fort Allen. And early on the morning of the 12th I re- 
ceived the inclosed German letter from him [already given the 
reader], the substance of it I have put into English which also 
comes inclosed. That same morning I wrote a Letter to Wet- 
terhold, a copy whereof comes also inclosed. And I expect 
every minute to hear what he has done in the Affair, I can't 
think it right to leave the Town till I do hear from (or see) 
him. I have been inform'd by a private Hand that saw him 
with his Detachment going to Fort Allen, as he said, to exe- 
cute the Orders he had received from me. This morning Capt. 
Orndt's letter came to Hand and am afraid that Lieut. Miller 
is faulty. It gives me great Pain that I am obliged to give 
your Honour all this Trouble at this time; but without your 
Authority and Direction we are like to run into great confu- 
sion. I am, however, determined that nothing shall be want- 
ing on my part to preserve good Order in the several Com- 
panies. And I persuade myself that your Honour will not 
think I have been idle. 

I am very doubtful that Capt. Eeynolds is rather too young 
for that Station where the Indians are, and will be continually 
passing and repassing, and may require the Care and Conduct 
of a more experienced Officer. His Lieut. I take to be that 
little impertinent Body which your Honour saw at the Tav- 
ern on Quittopohela Spring, where Eeynolds was with his Ke- 


cruits, when your Honour returned from the Camp at Harris's 
Ferry. I am 

Honoured Sir, 
Your most obedient 
humble Servant 

August 16, 1756. 

This Evening between 7 & 8. Capt. Wetterhold brought 
Christian Weyrick Prisoner to this Town, and delivered him 
to the keeper of Goal. 

Yesterday he met with Capt. Orndt's Ensign returning to 
Fort Norris, who told him that Lieut. Miller would not submit 
to his arrest, Wetterhold told him he should go back with him 
to the Lieut, and he did, not doubting but he could bring him 
to submit. When they came to the Lieut., Wetterhold asked 
him why he was not obedient to his Captain's Orders; The 
Lieut, told him that he had as good a Commission as his Capt. 
and he would not submit to him and he questioned if Wetter- 
hold had Power to arrest him. Wetterhold told him if he 
did not immediately submit to his own Capt. he would soon 
convince him that he had himself Authority to put him into 
arrest whereupon the Lieut, desired one day to settle his af- 
fairs before he went. I am fully of opinion if it were not for 
Wetterhold there would not be one Officer found in those 
Parts that dared execute orders of this kind, and he appears 
to me to be a resolute discreet Man. By Lieut. Allen's Letter 
to me of Yesterday, which comes with this. Your Honour will 
observe that Capt. Reynolds is gone again from the Fort with 
his Ensign, who, as far as I can learn, is the best officer of the 
3 at Fort Allen. And that Teedyuscung is returned again to 
the Fort. Tomorrow morning I will go and enquire into the 
reason of his unaccountable Behaviour and endeavour to send 
him away. 

1 am 
Honoured Sir, 
Your most Obedient, 

humble Servant, 

(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 747-749.) WM. PARSONS. 



Whilst much has been said with regard to a mutiny at Fori 
Allen and the measures taken to suppress it, the reader has, 
as yet, been left in the dark as to the nature of the occurrence. 
Capt. Nicholas Wetterholt's report to Major Parsons, which 
follows, supplies this deficiency very fully. It is as follows : 


In the night of the 5th of August, Christian Weyrick, a 
Corporal, began to quarrel with the Indians, and threatened 
to drive them out of the Fort. The Lieut, pursuaded him to 
forbear, but he siezed the Lieut. & threw him on the Ground, 
and afterwards went to the Indian Squaws and behaved very 
un decently with them the whole night, and some of his Com- 
rades; One John White upbraiding him with it, he began to 
curse and attempted to tear him to pieces, when Phillip Bort- 
ner stept out of the Guard Koom and ask'd him if he was not 
ashamed to behave so, but he took him and threw him on the 
Bench, who calling out for help, Dewalt Bossing sprung be- 
tween them, but he was not able to manage him; Then came 
Michael Laury, he struck him several Blows upon the Head, 
and thereupon they were parted; then he took a Gun and 
drove about the Fort like a Beast and not like a man, and 
struck down two of them, afterward he laid hold of his Cut- 
lass and went into the Captain's House and pointed it out at 
the window; Then he took a Gun and snapped it twice, but it 
would not go off; Then he took another Gun, and that miss'd 
Fire also; then he laid hold of a third Gun, which Capt. 
Foulk took from him; Then he seized another Gun and went 
out of the House, and said one of the 4 Beading town Soldiers, 
or John White, should die, and shott at him ; then he called to 
his Comrades and told them they should not leave hinj, they 
would storm the Fort, and no man should live that Day; then 
he ran into the Captain's House and threw the Benches about 
from Top to Bottom, but there was no Body in the House but 
the Lieut., the Clerk and the Serjeant, they warned him, but 
it all helped nothing; Then the Serjeant Bossing went to the 
Guard and told them to take him into arrest, but they would 
not; Then he went and broke Stones from the Chymny Back 
and threw them in at the window, and cursed furiously, and 


said he would kill one of the 4 Eeading town Soldiers, or 
would stab or shoot Serjeant White ; He behaved so violently 
that they were obliged to leave the Fort; He broke several 
Guns to pieces, and afterwards Michael Beltz, the Lieut., 
Christian Weyrick and Killian Lang, fetch'd water and put 
Rum in it, and washed their private parts therein. The 6th 
of Aug't the Ensign returned to the Fort and put things in 
better order. This is the Information from me, John Nicholas 
Widerhold, Captain. 

N. B. I have already acquainted ColPo Weiser with the 

Copy or Translation of Capt. Wetterhold^s German Letter. 

N. B. The Capt. Dates his Letter the Day he was at the Fort 
Allen but he must have wrote it since that time, for it was 
the 10th I wrote him, reced his answer the 12'th, so that his 
Letter to me should bear Date the ll'th Instant. 

(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 754.) W. P. 

So ends this disgraceful affair, the only one of its char- 
acter we have been obliged to record. What befell this pris- 
oner after Capt. Wetterholt had taken him to Easton we do 
not know, but he doubtless received his just punishment. 

One result of the whole affair was the detachment of Capt. 
Reynolds, and his command, from Fort Allen, who was or- 
dered to Fort Norris to replace Capt. Jacob Orndt who, in 
turn, occupied Fort Allen. 

The report of these two officers to Major Parsons shows 
when the change was accomplished: 

Fort AUin, Octo. 9th, ye 1756. 
Honer'd Sir; 

Yeasderday I Arrifid here with my Whole Company att the 
fort, and Captin Reynolds hath Suply'd with his men my 
Place, and these Day arrifid one fraindly Indins here with 
one wite Presoner, his name is Henry Hess, the Indin informs 
me that there is teen Indins more a Comen, which are about 
a Coply mils of from here and that the King with more Indins 
layes att Waywamok, and is afraid to Come in fore they was 
Several Tims informid that the Inglish would kill Them if 


they would come in now, therefore the King hath Sent them 
to See wether it is True or not, that Indin Desired me to Seand 
one qu'rt of Eum and Sum bred by him to them teen Indins 
which are now a little ways off, and I have Supply'd him with 
and I have Seand my Seargind with one Soldir with him to 
escord him, I have orderid emmadtly a Shealdr to be made 
a Distance off from the Fort that they may lodge there, the 
Indin was very glead that he was Kecev'd kindly there, Obinin 
was to go to Bethleham, but I Told him it was beast to go 
S treat to Easton to your Worship, then he Told me he would 
Consider of it, and I hope your Worship will excuse me and 
Captin Eaynolds, that wee Can not Seand our Eeturns with 
these opertunyte, fore wee have not quite Setelet, fore I 
Thought to Sent emitly these Eeports first fore I and Captin 
Eaynolds, wee are in good health att Present, and wee are 
Eesy to Setel our besinis here att the fort. 

Sir, wee Eemain your Frainds and 
Wery humble Servint, 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 5.) GEOEGE EEYNOLDS. 

Major Parsons at once sent an express to Secretary Eichard 
Peters, informing him of the facts reported to him, thus : 


By Capt. Orndt's inclosed Letter you will perceive that a 
number of the Indians are actually come in and that the Eest 
are on the Eoad, and I understand that besides the white 
Prisoner brought in they have 10 more with them, who no 
doubt will all want some kind of cloathing especially Shirts 
& Shoes. When they come to Easton I shall take Care to pro- 
vide House Eoom & Provisions for them, but shall want His 
Honour's Orders concerning them. I imagine they are now all 
coming in, and it will be very necessary for me to know how 
long they are to stay here, and how I am to conduct myself 
in this important Affair. 

You will please to acquaint His Honour that Lieut's Allen 
and Miller have made their Submissions agreeable to His 
Honours Commands of the 22d last past. And Capt. Orndt is 


just moved with his Company to Fort Allen, & Capt. Keynolds 
is gone to Fort Norris &c. to supply his Place. By your Fa- 
vour of the 5th Instant, you inform me that the Governor is 
gone to Harris's Ferry, 1 therefore thought it would be best 
to direct this Letter to you in his Absence. As I expect some 
of the Indians will be here to-Day or to-Morrow, I have sent 
my Lad express that no time may be lost. 

I am. Sir, 
Your obedient 
humble Servant, 

P. S. — Cap. Orndt's Letter came to Hand ab't 2 o'clock be- 
fore Day this Morning. I am very glad he is got to Fort 
Allen. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 7.) 

It will be seen from these letters that not only was a change 
of officers made at Fort Allen, but that, still more important, 
the efforts of Gov. Morris to bring about a Conference with 
the Indians, looking towards a Treaty of Peace, were at length 
bringing forth fruit. Teedyuscung, the Chief, with various 
of his followers, were already on their way to Easton, bring- 
ing with them sundry white prisoners as agreed. Apprehend- 
ing, however, vengeance on the part of the whites, they had 
stopped short at Wyoming and sent a messenger in advance 
to Fort Allen, notifying the officers of their presence. We 
have just seen how this fact was announced to the Provincial 
Secretary, who in turn laid it before the Council. Governor 
Morris had but recently been superseded by Gov'r Denny who 
was then absent. The following letter was accordingly dis- 
patched to him, on October 11th, from Philad'a : 

Hon'd Sir : 

The Council received by Express this afternoon the inclosed 
letters from Major Parsons & Capt. Orndt & advising that 
one Tediuskunk, a Delaware Chief, who, with other Indians, 
in consequence of a late Treaty made with them at Easton by 
Gov'r Morris, were Coming in with a Number of English Pris- 
oners, had on hearing a Report that we intended to cout 
them off, stopt at Wyoming & sent a Party forward to know 


the Truth of that Eeport. The Council conceiving it of the 
utmost Consequence that the Indians should be undeceived & 
their Fears removed without Loss of time, have taken the Lib- 
erty to direct Major Parsons to send an Express to them im- 
mediately, to invite them down to Easton, there to remain till 
your Hon'r shall be pleased to give further Orders about them, 
and have directed the inclosed Copy of their Letter to Major 
Parsons to be transmitted to you, that you may supply by 
your further Orders what they have omitted." (Penn. Arch., 
iii, p. 8.) 

In due course the Indians reached Easton, when a new alarm 
arose, this time on the part of the whites, who were informed 
that there were some 40 Indians at and about Fort Allen, also 
about 100 Minisink Indians at Trout Creek, all averse to a 
peace with the English, and who had laid a plot to attack 
Easton whilst the Governor was there, and kill both him and 
Teedyuscung, the latter for entering into even a Conference 
with their Enemy. This was on Nov'r 5th. Reinforcements 
were immediately obtained from Fort Franklin and the Town 
Guard increased. In the meantime, however, Col. Weiser 
had a private talk with those of the Six Nation Indians in 
Easton and informed them of the rumor which was afloat. 
They told him that two of their number who had been sent to 
Fort Allen would be back that evening when they could speak 
better with him. They assured him, however, that the report 
was false, and were indignant that they should be suspected 
of treachery. Upon the arrival of the two from Fort Allen 
they confirmed the falsity of the rumor, and all desired Col. 
Weiser to remind the Governor that when they, the Indians, 
were on their way to Easton they had heard similar plots on 
the part of the English to exterminate them, but still, placing 
confidence in the word of the white people, they had come 
and now that such wicked rumors were out about them they 
desired the Governor to place equal confidence in their fidel- 
ity. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 32.) 

Shortly after the arrival of the Governor at Easton the Con- 
ference with the Indians began, on Nov'r 8th, and was con- 
cluded on Nov'r 17th. At its conclusion the Indians had all 


expressed themselves favorable to peace. The next day Col. 
Weiser started with them back to Fort Allen. With much 
trouble he got them away from Easton and with still more 
difficulty he finally reached Fort Allen. Their old enemy- 
rum — was too much for the poor savages. They insisted 
upon having some, and finally it became necessary to supply 
them. Capt. Orndt took a cask to their camp. Col. Weiser 
warned them not to come near the Fort, and their orgies be- 
gan. In the midst of their drunkenness one of them attempted 
to crawl over the stockades but when the Colonel warned him 
that the sentry would fire on him he ran off as fast as he 
could shouting back, "Damn you all, I value you not !" (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 67.) 

At last the Indians were started off and disappeared for the 
time being, but, notwithstanding the Conference, and all their 
assurances, peace did not yet come. However, in justice to 
Teedyuscung it must be said that he apparently made efforts 
to induce the other Indians to join with him in declaring 
peace, but it was many months more before his efforts were 
crowned with any semblance of success. 

We have seen that the Indians brought back with them 
sundry white prisoners. One of these, whose name has been 
mentioned was Henry Hess. Another was Leonard Weeser, 
who made the following deposition during the Conference : 

The Examination of Leonard Weeser, aged twenty years, 
taken before the Governor, 9th Nov'r, 1756. 

This Examinant says that on the 31st Dec'r last he was at 
his father's House, beyond the Mountains, in Smithfield Town- 
ship, Northampton County, w'th his Father, his Bro'r William 
& Hans Adam Hess ; That Thirty Indians from Wyomink sur- 
rounded them as they were at Work, killed his Father & Hans 
Adam Hess and took this Examinant & his Brother William, 
aged 17, Prisoners. The next day the same Indians went to 
Peter Hess's, Father of the s'd Hans Adam Hess; they killed 
two young men, one Nicholas Burman, ye others Name he 
knew not, & took Peter Hess & his elder son, Henry Hess, and 
went off ye next morning at the great Swamp, distant about 
30 miles from Weeser's Plantation, they killed Peter Hess, 
sticking him with their knives, as this Examinant was told by 


ye Indians, for he was not present. Before they went off they 
burned the Houses & a Barrack of Wheat, kill'd y'e Cattle & 
Horses & Sheep, & destroyed all they could. Thro' ye Swamp 
they went directly to Wyomink, where they stayed only two 
days & then went up the river to Diahogo, where they stayed 
till the Planting Time, & from thence they went to little Pas- 
seeca, an Indian Town, up the Cayuga Branch, & there they 
stayed till they brought him down. Among the Indians who 
made this attack & took him Prisoner were Teedyuscung alias 
Gideon alias Honest John, & three of his Sons, Amos & Jacob, 
ye other's name he knew not. Jacobus & his Son, Samuel 
Evans & Thomas Evans were present; Daniel was present, 
one Yacomb, a Delaware, who used to live in his Father's 
Neighborhood. They said that all the country was theirs & 
they were never paid for it, and this they frequently gave as a 
reason for their conduct. The King's Son Amos took him, 
this Examinant, & immediately gave him over to his Father. 
He says that they cou'd not carry all the Goods, y't were given 
them when last here, & the King sent to his wife to send him 
some Indians to assist him to carry the Goods, & she ordered 
him to go with some Indians to the old man & coming where 
the Goods lay, ab't 18 miles on the other side of Fort Allen, 
he stayed while Sam Evans went to the Fort to tell Teedyus- 
cung that said Indians were with ye Goods & this Examinant 
w'th them, & this being told ye white people, Mr. Parsons sent 
two soldiers to ye place where the Goods were & brought him 
down with them, and he has stayed in Northampton County 
ever since. This Examinant saw at Diahogo a Boy of Henry 
Christmans, who lived near Fort Norris, & one Daniel Wil- 
liams Wife & five children, Ben Feed's wife & three children; 
a woman, ye wife of a Smith, who lived with Frederick Head, 
& three Children; a woman taken at Cushictunk, a Boy of 
Hunt's who lived in Jersey, near Canlin's Kiln & a negro man ; 
a Boy taken about 4 miles from Head's, called Nicholas Kain- 
sein, all of which were Prisoners with the Indians at Diahogo 
& Passeeca, and were taken by the Delaware Indians; that 
Teedyuscung did not go against the English after this Ex- 
aminant was taken, Tho' His sons did; That the King called 
all the Indians together, & they made up ye number of Eighty 


Five, viz : from Diahogo and Passeeca, & another Indian Town ; 
That Provisions were very scarce; That they went frequently 
out in Parties ag't ye English ; That he never saw any French 
or other Indians among them as he Knows of. 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 45.) mark 

We have been so accustomed to read of savage murders 
and atrocities, that we have become, by this time, more or 
less filled with a feeling of repugnance towards them, and yet 
this history would neither be fair nor complete did we neglect 
to say that the white men were not always so honorable or 
merciful towards the Indian, on their side. It was at the 
Conference just held, and also in private explanation to Con- 
rad Weiser, they claimed that the war now in progress was 
owing to the fact that the white settlers had defrauded them 
of their lands and cheated them in other ways, notably, as 
they said, in the case of the 'Walking Purchase," the scene 
of which was in that immediate vicinity. Even at the time 
when the Government was endeavoring to bring about peace, 
and were especially desirous of not molesting friendly In- 
dians, they were unwisely illtreated. The following instance, 
reported by Timothy Horsfield to Gov. Denny November 29th, 
1756, is on record: 

"I beg leave to mention to your Honour, that few Days 
Since as one of our Indians was in the Woods a Small dis- 
tance from Bethlehem, with his Gun, hoping to meet with a 
Deer, on his return home he met with two men, who (as he In- 
forms) he Saluted by takeing off his Hat; he had not gone far 
before he heard a gun fired, and the Bullet whistled near him, 
which terefied him very much, and running thro' the thick 
Bushes his gun lock Catched fast, and went off, he dropt it, 
his Hat, Blanket, &c., and came home much frighted. The 
Indians came to me complaining of this Treatment, Saying 
they fled from amongst the Murthering Indians, and come 
here to Bethlehem, and Addresst his Honour the Late Gov- 
ernor, and put themselves under His protection, which the Gov- 
ernor Answered to their Satisfaction, Desireing them to Sit 


Still amongst the Brethren, which they said they had done, 
and given offence to none. I told them I would do all in my 
Power to prevent such Treatment for the future, and that I 
would write to the Governor and Inform him of it, and that 
they might be Assured the Governor would use proper measures 
to prevent any mischief happening. I thought at first to write 
a few Advertisements to warn wicked People for the future 
how they Behave to the Indians, for if one or more of them 
should be kill'd in such a manner, I fear it would be of very 
bad consequence ; but I have since considered it is by no means 
proper for me to advertise, for as the Late Governor's procla- 
mation is Expired, the first Proclamation of War against the 
Indians I conceive is still in force. I thought it my Duty to 
Inform your Honor of this Affair, and Doubt not you will take 
the matter into your wise Consideration." (Penn. Arch., iii, 
p. 76.) 

Following the late Conference at Easton, efforts to accom- 
plish a peace with the Indians were kept up unremittingly. 
Much reliance was placed on Teedyuscung to aid in this mat- 
ter, and, whilst he was, as an Indian, but human and by no 
means perfect, yet, to his credit, it must be said that he did 
his part faithfully. Unfortunately he was the Chief of the 
Delawares, a tribe looked upon with more or less disdain by 
the Six Nations^ so that, whilst he may have been fairly able 
to control his own people, yet he found it very difficult to per- 
suade the other tribes. Finally he met with some success, so 
much so, in fact, that he felt able to bring them to a Confer- 
ence with the Governor, and in the meantime sent a detach- 
ment of Delawares in advance to Fort Allen. About them 
Capt. Orndt writes to Major Parsons : 

Fort Allen, March 31st, 1757. 
Honoured Sir: 

The Bearer hereof, an Indian, named Samuel Evans, desires 
to have an order from your Worship to get a New Stock made 
for his gun in Bethlehem, and that the same might be charged 
to the Province. Since my last letter w'ch I have wrote to 
you, arirved here King Teedyuscung's two Sons, Captain Har- 
rison (his brother), and several other Indians, in number 50, 


men and squaws, and children; they behave very civil here, 
they have made Cabbins about 60 perches from the Fort, 
where they live, and intend to tarry here till the King comes. 

I am. Sir, Your humble servant, 
(Col. Kec, vii, p. 474.) JACOB ORNDT. 

And again on April 5th, he writes : 

"This is to acquaint your Worship that the day before yes- 
terday, arrived here Four Indians from the Susquehanna, above 
Diahogo, and have brought one White Prisoner, whose name 
is Nicholas Ramston; he was taken at the same time that 
Christian Pember was killed. The same Indians informed me 
that King Teeduscung can hardly come down here till the 
latter End of this Month, for the Mohock Indians were not 
quite ready to March. Those four Indians will come with the 
bearer hereof, one of my Soldiers, whom I shall send to escort 
them to Easton, and I have also ordered the white Prisoner 
with them. I desire your Worship wou'd be pleased to send 
an order to Mr. Warner, who is ordered to entertain the In- 
dians, that he shall not give them too much Rum, as he has 
done to those who were at Easton last week, for some of them 
were so drunk that they Stay'd all Night in the Woods, and 
the remainder went with my Men to Bethlehem, and by so 
doing there might easily happen any Misbehaviour." (Col. 
Rec, vii, p. 474.) 

This captive, just restored, was a German by birth, taken 
prisoner some fifteen months ago by Teedyuscung's party and 
given by them to a Minisink Indian, whose brother brought 
him to Fort Allen. He had but little to say except that, at 
first, he had been treated pretty roughly, but afterwards 
kindly. He thought that when the Chief came he would bring 
other white prisoners with him. 

Teedyuscung was busy in persuading, not the Mohawks, as 
stated, who were already at Fort Allen, but the Seneca In- 
dians to come to the Conference, and it was not until July 
that, after accomplishing his object, he reached Fort Allen. 
Capt. Orndt immediately wrote to Colonel Weiser : 


To the honorable Colonel Weiser : 

These are to inform you that Detiuscung is arrived here 
Yesterday Ev'ing, and there be at present about 200 Indians 
with him, with young and old. Detiuscung is intended to 
stay here about five or six days, and in this time He expects 
one hundred of the Seneka Indians here, and then he is in- 
tended to go to Easton, in hopes to meet with his Honour the 

I am inform'd that Lieut. M * * * is run away with another 
man's wife and hope you will inform his Honour the Governor 
how necessary it is that I might have another Lieutenant. If 
you would be pleas'd to recommend Ensign Conrad in his 
stead, who, I think, will be a man very fit for a Lieutenant. 
I send with these the Muster and Pay Roll of my Company. 
I hope you will excuse me, as I have not sent my Journal, for 
I had not time to draw a Copy of it. 

I am. Sir, &c., 


Fort Allen, July 5, 1757. 

With Submission, I think Ensign Conrad worthy of a Lieu- 
tenants Commission. 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 207.) 

Ensign Conrad was duly given his Commission as Lieu- 

As the provisions were giving out. Captain Orndt found it 
to be impossible to keep all these Indians at Fort Allen, there- 
fore on July 7th he marched with 150 of them to Easton, leav- 
ing but 50 behind, where he arrived safely with all except 
one, named William Dattame, who, contrary to his orders, 
started for Bethlehem, and was shot by a foolish white boy, 
15 years old, who followed him. He was wounded in the right 
thigh, but, fortunately, the wound was not mortal. 

On July 14th Colonel Weiser arrived at Easton, and, later, 
detachments from various forts, forming a Guard of 110 men. 

On July 20th and 21st Governor Denny and the entire Coun- 
cil reached the same place, and shortly after the Conference 


began whicli lasted until August 7tli. There were over 300 
Indians present, Chiefs and representatives of the Delawares, 
Shawanese, Mohicans, Senecas, &c. On the last day a treaty 
of peace was finally concluded with them, and all left under 
most harmonious circumstances. 

After all the Conferences held with the Indians and the 
various treaties made with them it becomes a matter of sur- 
prise to find that hostilities still continued. And yet a little 
thought will make the reason very clear. We must not forget 
that the savages were divided into many tribes, each with 
their chiefs. At no time were all of these various divisions 
represented at the Conferences, and, even if those who entered 
into the treaty should keep it, yet there were others who had 
not agreed to bury the hatchet, and did not. Then, too, sav- 
age nature delighted in blood and murder, and individually 
could not always be controlled by their own chiefs. Peace 
was an exceedingly difficult end to reach, requiring much time, 
patience and wisdom to accomplish. Teedyuscung still faith- 
fully assisted the Governor, and had his agents at work at 
different points. Capt. Orndt notifies Mr. Horsfield, from Fort 
Allen, on March 7th, 1758, of the arrival of five Indians from 
Diahogo and from Fort Augusta, with a particular message 
to the Chief. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 359.) These were sent to 
Philad'a where Teedyuscung joined them from Bethlehem. 
On March 25th twenty more Indians came to Fort Allen from 
Diahogo, with several strings of white wampum, in token of 
peace, and a message that, as soon as they returned, a great 
number of Indians of the Muncy and Mohican tribes would 
come to make a treaty. In this same letter Capt. Orndt says, 
"I have almost finished the Trench about the Fort, and intend 
setting up Saplins to hinder the enemy from breaking over the 
Trench." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 367.) 

Teedyuscung even entered into somewhat of an alliance 
with the English and furnished spies for them to watch the 
movements of the French. Having been requested to send an 
Indian to the Allegheny Kiver and see what was going on 
there, he sent a Message, August 9th, 1758, to the Governor 
saying he had not done so because it was too dangerous, and 


"That a number of French Mohocks and a French Captain 
came down as far as Diahogo to go to War against the Eng- 
lish, but the Indians there persuaded a Number of them to 
return back, but a French Captain & ten of them would not be 
restrained but proceeded, and I believe they are going against 
the Minisink. I think proper to give this Information that 
ye People on your Frontiers may be put on their guard. 

I consider the English our Brethren, and We have but one 
Ear, one Mouth, one Eye, you may be sure I shall apprize 
them of every motion of the Enemy.'^ 

Two Indians came to Wioming from Allegheny and in- 
formed Teedyuscung that they had already struck the French 
and destroyed six of their Forts. That Fort Duquesne was 
very strong, but if their Brethren, the English, came to at- 
tack it they would help them. 

That the Intelligence of this French party of ten men was 
given to the Captain at Fort Allen, who sent Messengers im- 
mediately to alarm the People of the Minisink. 

That Lawrence Bush was come from the upper parts of the 
Susquehannah Eiver to Wioming and went to Shamokin (Sun- 
bury) as they (the messengers) sat out for Fort Allen." (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 509.) 

At last in October, 1758, a grand Conference was held at 
Easton at which were present Gov. Denny, of Pennsylvania, 
Gov. Bernard, of the Jerseys, and Chiefs of the Mohawks, 
Oneidas, Tuscaroras, Onondagoes, Senecas, Cayugas, Conoys, 
Nanticokes and other tribes, and a final peace was effected 
which was lasting, although even after that desultory forays 
were made at various points, and sundry murders committed. 
I say lasting, because I do not consider the outbreak of 1763 
of short duration and confined to a limited district, as worthy 
to be considered a part of the so-called Pontiac War. It is 
doubtful whether, with all the efforts made, diplomacy could 
have brought about this state of affairs, even at this late hour, 
had it not been for the success of the English arms and the 
gradual withdrawal of the French, a fact their savage allies 
who had their own interests especially at heart, were not slow 
to notice. 

I have dwelt somewhat at length on the several Conferences 


held at Easton, and the many efforts made by the Government 
to terminate the war, because of the important connection 
of Fort Allen with them. In doing so I have necessarily 
passed over some facts which may be worthy of notice now. 

Major Parsons reports to Sec'y Kich'd Peters that on Octo- 
ber 21st, 1756, there were in that place 49 lb powder, 103 lb 
lead and 50 flints. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 81.) 

In April, 1757, it is proposed to reduce the forts between the 
Susquehanna and Delaware to three only, — Fort Henry, Allen 
and Hamilton — each to have a garrison of 100 men. (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 119.) 

On February 5th, 1758, Adjutant Kern reports at Fort Al- 
len, Capt. Orndt and Lieut. Conrad, with 53 men, 63 Province 
arms, 3 private arms, 190 lbs powder, 200 lbs lead, 4 months 
provisions, and Jacob Levan as their Commissary. (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 340.) On February 9th, 1758, Commissary James 
Young reports on duty there, one and a half Companies, with 
78 men. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 341.) 

Major James Burd, in his tour of inspection, visited Fort 
Allen. He has this to say of it : 

Monday, Feby 27th, 1758. 

Arrived at Fort Allen at i after 2 P. M. (from Fort Ever- 
ett), a prodigious Hilly place and poor land, 15 miles from 
Mr. Everett's, ordered a review of this Garrison tomorrow at 
8 A. M. 

28, Tuesday. 

At 8 A. M. reviewed this Garrison ; doing duty, Capt. Orndt, 
Lieu'ts Hays & Laughery, Ensigne Quixell & 75 men, this is 
a very good Garrison, Stores, 2 months' Provisions, 225 pounds 
powder, 300 lb lead, 500 flints, 2 Sweevel Guns, 26 Province 
Arms bad, no Drum, kettles, nor Blankets, 1 spade, 1 shovell, 
1 Grubing how & 14 bad axes. 

This is a very poor Stockade, surrounded with Hills, situ- 
ated on a barren plain, through which the Kiver Leehy runs, 
distance ab't 70 yards from the Fort, there is scarce room here 
for 40 men. 


Ordered Cap't Orndt to Eegulate his Ranging by his Intel- 
ligence from time to time, as he informed me that 5 Indians 
from Bethlehem has promised faithfully to Cap't Orndt to 
come here & reconnoitre the woods constantly round & to 
furnish him with Intelligence, likewise to put up a Targett 6 
Inches thick to learn the Soldiers to Shoot. 

Sett off from hence at 10 A. M. for Lieu't Ingle's post. 
* * * * (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 355.) 

It would seem from this report that Fort Allen had fallen 
somewhat out of repair. It did not remain so long, however, 
as we will recall that, in the following March, Capt. Orndt 
had it thoroughly repaired and renewed. 

On June 30, 1758, Gen'l Forbes left Philadelphia on his 
western Campaign. In the meantime Capt. Orndt had been 
promoted to Major and given charge of the district about 
Fort Allen. He was directed to notify the people of the fron- 
tiers to assemble in large parties during their harvesting and 
provide each party with sentrys for protection. (Penn. Arch., 
iii, p. 448.) He was also directed to see that the friendly In- 
dians wore a broad yellow band around their head or arms 
to distinguish them from the enemy, and requested the Gov- 
ernor to send a supply of the same to Forts Augusta and Allen 
for distribution. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 487.) 

Unlike the history of the other forts, which we have traced, 
that of Fort Allen is singularly free from a long list of at 
least recorded murders. It has been thought by some writers 
that this was owing to its strength. From said opinion I 
am obliged to differ, as, in the first place, whilst important 
it was not of unusual strength, and, in the second place, its 
strength or weakness would have mattered little to the sav- 
ages who never attempted to assault any garrison fort, but 
skulked around it to perpetrate their cruelties, unperceived, 
in its rear. I account' for this immunity to the fact, which we 
have seen, that the Indians were constantly stopping at it 
on their way to and from the many Conferences and lesser 
talks, which were held at Easton, Bethlehem and Philadel- 
phia, and they were too cunning to commit themselves by any 
untoward act in its vicinity. Be that as it may, however, it 


is a source of great rejoicing to know that the fact, at least, 

On April 21st, 1756, John Mee and Joseph Leacock, residing 
within 1^ miles of Fort Allen, requested of the Governor a 
detachment of men from said fort to protect them whilst they 
put up their fences and burnt the leaves around their fields. 
(Penn. Arch., ii,p. 638.) 

During 1757 a couple petitions were sent the Governor re- 
questing protection and recommending certain dispositions 
of troops. 

On March, 1758, the following petition was sent to Gov. 
Denny by the inhabitants on both sides of the Blue Mountains, 
on the West Branch, in Towamensing and Lehigh Townships: 

"Wee, the Poor Inhabitants of the Said Townships, Come 
to Lay this Humble Petition before your Honour, to Lat you 
know that we are inforrq^d that Fort Allen Shall be taken 
away from the Place where the Fort Stationed at present, and 
Shall be Build another this Side the Mountains, which would 
be verry Hartt for us them that Leaves Behind and this Side 
the Mountain on the Frontiers, if the Said Fort Allen Should 
be moved from the Place; and if it Should be So, Wee Pray 
your Honour might be plised to Order that said Fort might be 
Build of the Other Side the Mountain, on the Place Called the 
Good Spring or well, which is a very Convinient Place; But if 
the Fort Should be Build this Side the Mountains, all the In- 
habitants this and the Other Side near the Mountains will 
be obliged to move off from their Plantations, and the Ene- 
mies will get the Mountains in to Do more mischief, and will 
be more Danger for the Inhabitants; Wee Pray your Hon'r 
will be plised to take all this in Consideration, and your Wis- 
dom will order the Best for us, and We Shall Ever pray. 

Your Honour 
We are your most humble 
and obedient Servants 
[numerously signed, principally in German]. 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 359.) 

Captain Jacob Orndt having been promoted^ was succeeded 
at Fort Allen by Captain John Bull, who, on June Uth, 1758^ 



notifies Sam'l Dupui of a party of 25 hostile Indians on their 
way to the Minisinks. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 423.) 

How much longer Fort Allen was regularly garrisoned I 
have been unable to find from the records. Matthews and 
Hungerford, in their History of Carbon County, p. 579, say 
until 1761, and after that time was occasionally occupied by 
soldiers. We know that such at least was the case in 1763, 
during that outbreak, when Captains Nicholas and Jacob Wet- 
terholt were there. As late as June 1st, 1780, Lt. Col. Kern 
had 112 men stationed at and near Fort Allen. 

This latter event was owing to the capture, on April 25th, 
1780, of the Gilbert family, living on the Mahoning Creek, 
some 5 or 6 miles from Fort Allen, by a party of eleven In- 
dians. The Indians who made this incursion were of different 
tribes, who, on the approach of Genl Sullivan's Army to Wy- 
oming, had abandoned their country and fled within the Brit- 
ish Lines in Canada. From thence they made frequent in- 
roads on the frontier settlements. The account of the captiv- 
ity of this family, which extended over a period of two years 
and five months, is most interesting and romantic. It does 
not, however, belong to this work and must, therefore, be 
omitted. It is sufficient to say that, after many trials and 
hardships, they were all happily reunited. 

After what has been said of Fort Allen it seems almost un- 
necessary to add that a monument should certainly be erected 
to mark its site. I would suggest, as a suitable place the 
public square opposite the Fort Allen Hotel. 


The next defensive station erected by the Government was 
some 15 miles east of Fort Allen, between that and Fort Ham- 
ilton, at Stroudsburg. 

To bring the occasion again to our memory it becomes nec- 
essary to refer once more to Benjamin Franklin's letter of 
January 25th, 1756, to Governor Morris. We will recall that 
it was written from Fort Allen, about the time of its comple- 
tion. In it he says, *^As soon as Hays returns I shall detach 


010 stints HAME FlSHtR 



(WHtRfc CawRfcO TRASLt 
UVf.0 U56. 

(***•♦ *f ^******^l COWRAP PRA8U 

f«<^BL«- STATt ftOAO/ 

t5 MfiES 



another party to erect another fort at Surfas^ which I hope 
may be finished in the same time" (as Fort Franklin, in a 
week or ten days). (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 16.) 

Again in his letter of the next day he repeats, officially, 
"As soon as Capt. Hays returns with the Convoy of Stores and 
Provisions, which I hope may be tomorrow, I purpose to send 
Orndt and Haeds [doubtless meant for Hays] to Join Capt. 
Trump [who was busy erecting forts at Stroudsburg], in 
erecting the middle Fort there, purposing to remain here be- 
tween them and Foulk [at Fort Franklin], ready to assist and 
supply both as occasion may require, and hope in a week or 
ten Days, weather favouring, those two Forts may be finished 
and the Line of Forts compleated and garrisoned, the Bang- 
ers in Motion, and the internal Guards and Watchers dis- 
banded. * * ♦ (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 16.) 

This fort, which was completed during the early part of 
February, 1756, was called "Fort Norris," after Isaac Norris, 
Speaker of the Assembly, he who directed that there should 
be cast on the State House bell of 1752 the words "Proclaim 
liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof." 
When finished it was placed under the command of Captain 
Jacob Orndt, who occupied it with his company of 50 men. 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 325 — date incorrectly given as 1758.) 

Commissary James Young, on his tour of inspection, reached 
the place on June 23rd, 1756. His report about it reads as 
follows : 

"Fort Norris — At 11 A. M. Came to Fort Norris, found here 
a Serjeant Commanding 21 men, he told me the Ensign with 
12 men was gone out this morning to Kange the Woods to- 
wards Fort Allen, the Cap'tn was at Philad'a since the 16th 
for the peoples pay, and the other Serjeant was absent at 
Easton, on Furlough Since the 20th. This Fort Stands in a 
Valley ab't midway between the North mountain, and the 
Tuscorory, 6 miles from Each on the high Koad towards the 
Minisink, it is a Square ab't 80 ft Each way with 4 half Bas- 
tions all very Compleatly Staccaded, and finished and very 
Defenceable, the Woods are Clear 400 yMs Bound it, on the 
Bastions are two Sweevel Guns mounf d, within is a good Bar- 


rack, a Guard Koom, Store Eoom, and kitcMn also a Good 
Well. — Provincial Stores, 13 g'd Muskets, 3 burst Do, 16 very 
bad Do, 32 Cartooch Boxes, 100 lb Powder, 300 lb Lead, 112 
Blankets, 39 Axes, 3 Broad Do, 80 Tamhacks, 6 Shovels, 2 
Grub Hoes, 5 Spades, 5 Drawing Knives, 9 Chisels, 3 Adses, 3 
Hand Saws, 2 Augurs, 2 Splitting Knives. 

At 1 P. M. the Ensign with 12 men returned from Ranging, 
thej had seen nothing of any Indians. I mustered the whole 
34 in Number Stout able men, the En'sn has no Certificates of 
inlistments, the arms Loaded and clean, the Cartooch Boxes 
filled with 12 Rounds p'r man. Provisions at Fort Norris, a 
Large Quantity of Beef Very ill Cured Standing in Tubs, a 
Quantity of Biscuit and flower, & ab't 50 Gallons Rum. 

23 June, Fort Norris. — At 2 P. M. Cap'tn Weatherholt came 
here to us, he had been on his way to Phil'a, but the Messinger 
I sent last night (from Fort Lehigh) overtook him 8 miles from 
his Station, he brought me his muster Roll of his whole Comply, 
and Certificates of Inlistments, and proposed to go with me 
to Sam'l Depues, where his Lieu't and 26 men are Stationed, 
to see them Muster'd, I accepted of his Company. At 3 P. M. 
we sett out from Fort Norris on our way to Fort Hamilton." 
(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 678.) 

The reader will doubtless be struck with the excellent con- 
dition in which Mr. Young found Fort Norris, and we need 
hardly be told that it was not a matter of chance, but was 
owing to the fact that Captain Orndt was a most excellent 
and capable officer. That he was held in very high esteem by 
the Government is evidenced by his assignment to the command 
of Fort Allen, a most important point, shortly after and, 
still later, by his promotion to Major. 

It will be remembered when the mutiny occurred at Fort 
Allen that, in August, 1756, Lieut. Miller, on account of his 
conduct, was disciplined by being sent to Fort Norris, where 
he would be in the hands of a real soldier. It was even deemed 
advisable to remove Capt. Reynolds, himself, from Fort Allen, 
because of his lack of experience, so that, on October 8th, 
1756, Capt. Orndt took command of Fort Allen, whilst, at the 
same time, Capt. Reynolds and his company were transferred 
to Fort Norris. 


In the beginning of April, 1757, Major Parsons notified the 
garrison that a party of Indians were on their way to com- 
mit depredations in that part of the country. As the occur- 
rences, however, took place near Fort Hamilton, they will 
be related under that head. 

In May, 1757, Fort Norris underwent another change of 
commanders, mention of which Major Parsons makes in his 
letter of May 26th, to Gov. Denny, as follows : 

"Commissary Young came to Town last Sunday about noon, 
and on Tuesday about two. Afternoon, set out from hence for 
Fort Norris, Fort Allen, &c., escorted by Capt's Busse and 
Eeynolds; Lieut. Engell (from Fort Franklin), who is going to 
take the command of Fort Norris, and Ensign Biddle with 
about 50 men, all in good Spirits." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 163.) 

During the Conference with the Indians in July, 1757, at 
Easton, Fort Norris furnished its quota of men to act as 
guards. Colonel Weiser says, July 15th, to Gov. Denny. 
"Those from Fort Norris and Hamilton I have sent for to Day 
in all the Eain, by two of Capt'n Orndt's men." (Penn. Arch., 
iii, p. 218.) 

On Tuesday, February 28th, 1758, Major James Burd, after 
inspecting Fort Allen, "Sett off from hence at 10 A. M. for 
Lieut. Ingle's post, arrived at Lieu't Ingle's at 4 P. M., ordered 
a Review Immediately, & found here Lieu't Ingle and 30 good 
men in a very good Stockade, which he is just finishing, 15 
miles from Fort Allen. Stores, 10 lb powder, 10 lb lead, 12 
Province Arms bad, no blankets, 4 spades, 3 shovels, 2 Grub- 
ing hows & 4 axes, arrived at Lieu't Snyder's Station at 7 P. 
M." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 357.) 

As in the case of Fort Allen, so Fort Norris seems to have 
been in need of some repairs, which Lieut. Engle appears to 
have been completing at the time of Major Burd's visit. 

In 1756, Maj. Parsons reports the following supplies sent 
to Fort Norris : 

Octob'r 17th 20 lb powder, 23 lb lead. 
Octob'r 26th 25 lb powder, 11 lb lead. 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 81.) 

I have not seen any definite location given of Fort Norris, 
except in the excellent History of Pennsylvania, by Dr. Egle, 


which places it near Greensweig's, in Eldred Township of Mon- 
roe County. This is an error. I drove personally through the 
entire neighborhood, where my judgment led me to look for 
it, and have been able to fix its site beyond any doubt. For 
my success I am much indebted to the valuable aid of T. H. 
Serfass, Esq., of Gilberts, Superintendent of Schools in Mon- 
roe County. I herewith give a sketch of its position. 

The ground on which Fort Norris stood belonged to Mr. 
Conrad Frable, is now the property of Mr. Charles Frable, 
his son, but was formerly a part of the original Serfass prop- 
erty, that of John Serfass (as the name is now spelt), the great 
grandfather of Mr. T. H. Serfass. We are told that this fort 
stood on "the high Road towards the Minisinks," that is on 
the road to what is now Stroudsburg. That is strictly true. 
Whilst the present State road is about 200 yards south of the 
fort, yet the original road, as it then existed and is shown by 
the dotted lines on the map, passed immediately by it. For 
this and other valuable information herewith given the reader 
I am indebted to Mr. Conrad Frable, through Mr. T. H. Serfass. 
Mr. Frable is a gentleman nearly 87 years old. He was born 
about two miles from the Serfass' place, and was well ac- 
quainted with the original John Serfass. He began practical 
life, about 1827, on the property now owned by John Smale, 
on the State road one-quarter mile east of Nathan Serfass. 

Mr. Frable says when a boy, nine or ten years of age, he 
used to accompany his father while fishing in the Big creek, 
and then learned to know the locality of the fort. The pres- 
ent State road then had no existence, but ran as indicated 
by the dotted lines. Where it forked to the north, just before 
passing Fort Norris, was the old homestead of James Frable. 
Further on, near the creek, an old orchard, and at the terminus 
of the fork lived an old settler named Fisher. From the or- 
chard south to the forks of the old road the land is low and 
level, in fact marshy, being even in this day sometimes under 
water ; from the forks eastward along the old road the ground 
rises gradually towards the present State road, which is near 
the foot of the Wire hill. 


Mr. Frable says the fort was dug out, cellar like, with pretty 
high banks on the east and west sides, not quite so high on 
the south, and level on the north side which he thinks was 
the place of entrance. The land had been cleared on all sides 
for quite a distance from the fort, to within a few rods of the 
present State road'. Now the field has grown up with small 
pines. Mr. Frable gave the length of one side as fully 70 
feet, but Mr. Serfass found it to be from crest to crest fully 
75 feet by actual measurement, that is by pacing off the dis- 
tance. The outline of these embankments, marking the line 
of stockades, is still visible. 

A small graveyard stands about one hundred yards from 
the fort, probably used by the old settlers and garrison. A 
spring is found at the site of the fort, and about 200 yards 
to the East stood a well which Mr. Frable and his sons filled 
up. This Mr. Frable remembers hearing called the "Indian 
Well," which would indicate that it was the well mentioned by 
Mr. Young as being in the fort. This has been a source of some 
perplexity as the well just named could hardly have been in 
the fort. And yet there seems but little reason for puzzling 
over the matter. There may have been another well "in the 
fort," or the well mentioned by Commissary Young may have 
been outside of the fort. It is a trivial matter, where the 
other information is so undoubtedly authentic. 

The location of Fort Norris is distant from the nearest point 
of the present State road about 200 yards, from the house of 
Charles Frable about 230 yards, from the nearest point on 
Big creek, formerly Hoeth's creek or Poco Poco creek about 
400 yards, from Meitner's Store f of a mile, from house of 
Nathan Serfass f of a mile, and in an air line from Kresge- 
ville IJ miles. It is about 3 miles or more from Gilberts. 

Further authority relative to Fort Norris hardly seems 
necessary, but, if needed, I might say that the testimony of Mr. 
Frable is corroborated by that of Mr. Jos. Smale, residing 
in the vicinity as well as various old residents in the neighbor- 

There was no lack of stirring events about Fort Norris. As 
most of them, however, took place between it and the locality 


where Stroudsburg now stands, and rather nearer the lat- 
ter place, I have deemed it advisable to defer their mention 
until in connection with the history of the forts on the Dela- 

Near here was the home of the Minisink Indians, and hos- 
tilities began at an early day. Rumors of outbreaks were al- 
ready ripe in November, 1755. On the 30th of that month 
Major Parsons wrote to Sec'y Richard Peters: 

"Since writing my last, of the 27th Instant, everything re- 
mains pretty quiet. There has been a report of some Damage 
being done on the other side the Mountains, beyond Broad- 
beads, but it wants Confirmation. Last Fryday the Jersey 
People took an Indian Man and brought him to our Gaol (at 
Easton) and last night about 7 o'clock they brought 15 Indians 
more, 3 of them were Men and the rest Women and Children. 
As it was thought unsafe to keep the Indians long in this 
place, which might draw a particular Resentment on us from 
the other Indians when they should hear we had them here 
in Goal, They were this Morning all sent over into the Jerseys, 
under Convoy of those who brought them to us, with advice 
to convey them safely to some prison in the lower and more 
Populous Counties of their own Province. Whether we have 
done right or no must be left to our Superiors, but the People 
of the Town were exceedingly dissatisfied at the Indians being 
brought here, and I do assure you that I find a good deal of 
Difficulty to keep our People in spirits to which end I am 
obliged upon every occasion to humour them and to keep 
them in Temper, and they have been much insulted and put 
upon by some of the Jersey People from Greenwich, who Came 
in great numbers to feast upon us under the pretence of 
Friendship being too much encouraged therein by a few of our 
own People, but I have hitherto kept them patient under 
these Menaces.'^ (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 534). 

The storm, which had been lowering over the devoted people 
north of the mountains, suddenly burst on the 10th of Decem- 
ber, and, as the greatest sufferers dwelt comparatively near 
Fort Norris, it is most appropriate to relate the sad occurrance 
at this time. 

On December 12th, 1755, Timothy Horsfield wrote the Gov- 


ernor from Bethlehem, inclosing "a faithful Translation of 
two Original German letters to the Eeverend Mr. Spangen- 
berg, which are just now come to hand, & which will inform 
your Honour of the particulars which I have to lay before 
you; your Honour will thereby see what Circumstances we are 
in in these parts. I would also just mention to your Honour 
that the bearer brings along with him some pieces of arms 
which fail in the using, and which makes the people afraid 
to take them in hand. I pray your Honour will take it into 
your further Consideration & give us all the assistance that 
lays in your power." (Col. Rec, vi, p. 756). 

The following was one of the above letters to Bishop Span- 
genberg : 

Nazareth, 11th December, 1755. 

"Mr. Bizman who just now came from the Blue Mountains, 
& is the bearer of this Letter will tell you that there is a num- 
ber of 200 Indians about Broadhead's Plantation, they have 
destroyed most all the Plantations thereabouts, and killed 
several families at Hoeth's. You will be so kind and acquaint 
Mr. Horsfield directly of it, that he may send a Messinger to 
Philadelphia & let all our Neighbors know what we have to 
expect, and that they may come to our Assitance." 

(Col. Rec, vi, p. 756). "NATHANAEL." 

And this was the other : 

"An hour ago came Mr. Glotz and told us that the 10th In- 
stant in the night Hoeth's Family were killed by the Indians, 
except his Son & the Smith, who made their Escape, and the 
houses burnt down. Just now came old Mr. Hartman, with 
his Family, who also escaped and they say that all the neigh- 
borhood of the above mentioned Hoeth's, viz't: Broadhead's, 
Culvers', McMichael's, & all Houses and Families thereabouts 
were attacked by the Indians at Daylight and burnt down 
by them. 

Mr. Culvers' and Hartmans' Family are come to us with 
our Waggons & lodge partly here in Nazareth, partly in the 
Tavern. Our Waggons, which were to fetch some Corn, were 
met by Culvers 3 Miles this Side his House, and when they 
heard this shocking News they resolved to return & to carry 


these poor People to Nazareth. They say also that the num- 
ber of Indians is about Two Hundred. We want to hear your 
good advice what to do in this present Situation & Circum- 
stances, and desire if possible your assistance." 

Nazareth, 11th Decemb'r, 1755. (Col. Eec, vi, p. 757). 

Hardly had Mr. Horsfield sent his first letter to the Gov- 
ernor when he dispatched this second one: 

"May it please your Honour: 

Sir: I have dispatched an Express this Morning to your 
Honour in Philadelphia to inform you of the Circumstances 
we are in. But since hearing that you was in New York, I 
thought it my Duty to dispatch another Messenger with this, 
thinking it might yet find your Honour there. 

In the night an Express arrived from Nazareth, acquaint'g 
me that there is certainly People now in Nazareth who fled 
for their Lives, and informs us that one Hoeth and his Family 
are cut off, only two escaping, & the Houses, &ca. of Hoeth, 
Broadhead, and others, are actually laid in Ashes, & People 
from all Quarters flying for their Lives, & the common report 
is that the Indians are 200 Strong. 

Your Honour can easily Guess at the Trouble and Conster- 
nation we must be in on this Occasion in these parts. As to 
Bethlehem, we have taken all the Precaution in our Power 
for our Defence; we have taken all our little Infants from 
Nazareth to Bethlehem for the greater Security, and these, 
with the rest of our Children, are near 300 in number. Altho' 
our gracious King & Parliament have been pleased to exempt 
those among us of tender Conscience from bearing Arms, yet 
there are many amongst us who make no scruple of Defending 
themselves against such cruel Savages. But Alas! what can 
we do, having very few Arms & little or no Ammunition, & 
we are now as it were become the Frontier, and as we are 
circumstanced, our Family being so large it is impossible for 
us to retire to any other place for Security. 

I doubt not your Honour's goodness will lead you to con- 
sider the Distress we are in, & speedily to afford us what re- 
lief shall be thought Necessary against these merciless Sav- 


I am, with all due respect, your Honour's most obedient, 

h'ble Servt, 


Bethlehem, 12'th Decem'br, 1755. 

p. s. — Hoeth's, Broadhead's, &ca are situate a few miles 
over the Blue Mountains about 25 or 30 Miles from hence." 
(Col. Rec, vi, p. 757). 

Those present at or near the scene of disaster fled to 
Easton, where their affidavits were taken. One person, how- 
ever, seems to have crossed over to Philipsburg, in New Jersey, 
if we may judge from the following : 


Joseph Stout received one Express this morning by a young 
man from that place, where John Carmeckle & Broadhead 
lives back of Samuel Dupues, where they were attacked Yes- 
terday about 11 O'clock, where the Barn & Barracks was on 
fire, & heard the Guns a firing (for Broadhead had Barracaded 
his House), & there was several People killed, & I fled to Jno. 
Anderson for help; & as near as I could think there was an 
hundred Enemy that appeared to me, and was in White 
People's cloathing — only a few Match Coats. 

Sworn before me this 12th Day of December, 1755. 


Col. Stout : I desire you would come up directly with your 
Regiment till you and I see if we can Save our Country. Your 
Compliance will oblige your real friend, 


Philips Burgh. (Col. Rec, vi, p. 758). 

The following two depositions were taken before Wm. Par- 
sons at Easton : 

"The 12th Day of December, 1755, Personally appeared be- 
fore me, William Parsons, one of his Majesty's Justices of the 
Peace for the County of Northampton, Michael Hute, aged 
about 21 Years, who being duly sworn on the Holy Evange- 
lists of Almighty God, did depose & declare that last Wednes- 
day about 6 of the Clock, Afternoon, a Company of Indians 
about 5 in Number attacked the House of Frederick Heath, 


about 12 miles Eastward from Gnadenhutten on Pocho Poclio 
Creek. That the family being at Supper the Indians shot into 
the House & wounded a Woman; at the next shot they killed 
Frederick Hoeth himself, & shot several times more, where- 
upon all ran out of the House that could. The Indians imme- 
diately set fire to the House, Mill and Stables. Hoeth's wife 
ran into the Bakehouse, which was also set on Fire. The poor 
Woman ran out thro' the Flames, and being very much burnt 
she ran into the water and there dyed. The Indians cut her 
belly open, and used her otherwise inhumanly. They killed 
and Scalped a Daughter, and he thinks that three other Chil- 
dren who were of the Family were burnt. Three of Hoeth's 
Daughters are missing with another Woman, who are sup- 
posed to be carried off. In the Action one Indian was killed 
& another wounded ; and further this Deponent saith not.'- 

Sworn at Easton, the day and Year said. Before me, 
(Col. Rec, vi, p. 758) . WM. PARSONS. 

This would seem to have been one of the two survivors of 
that terrible affair, possibly the son, as the name Hute may be 
merely another way of spelling Hoeth. 

The next deposition has more direct reference to the events 
about Broadhead's, where the Indians went from Hoeth's : 

'The 12th Day of December, 1755, Personally appeared be- 
fore me, William Parsons, one of his Majesty's Justices of the 
peace for the County of Northampton, John McMichael, Henry 
Dysert, James Tidd & Job Bakehorn, Jr., who being duly 
sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, did depose 
and declare, that Yesterday about 3 of the Clock, afternoon, 
two Indian Men came from towards Broadhead's House, who 
fired at these Deponents and several others, who returned the 
fire and made the Indians turn off. And the said Deponents, 
James Tidd and Job Bakehorn, further said, that as they were 
going round the Stack Yard of the said McMichael, where 
they all were, they saw, as they verily believe, at least 4 In- 
dians on their knees, about twenty perches from the Stack 
Yard, who fired at the Deponents. And these Deponents fur- 
ther say that they were engaged in manner aforesaid with the 


Indians at least three Quarters of an hour. And these De- 
ponents, John McMichael and Henry Dysert further say, that 
they saw the Barn of the said Broadhead's on fire about nine 
of the Clock in the morning, which continued Burning till 
they left the House, being about 4, afternoon, and that they 
heard shooting and crying at Broadhead's House almost the 
whole Day, and that when they left McMichael's House the 
Dwelling House of said Broadhead was yet unburnt, being, 
as they supposed, defended by the People within it. And the 
Deponents, James Tidd & Job Bakehorn, further say, that they 
did not come to McMichael's House till about 3 in the after- 
noon, when they could see the Barn and Barracks of the said 
Broadhead's on fire. And these Deponents further say that 
they did not see anyone killed on either side, but James Gar- 
lanthouse, one of their company, was shot through the Hand 
& Arm ; and further these Deponents say not." 

The mark of 

The mark of 

The mark of 


Sworn at Easton the Day and Year aforesaid Before me 

(Col. Rec, vi, p. 759). 

The Hoeth family, which was almost exterminated, lived on 
the Poco Poco creek, later known, because of this murder, as 
Hoeth's creek, and now as Big creek, a tributary of the Le- 
high river above Weissport. The tragedy occurred in the 
near vicinity of where Fort Norris was afterwards built. 
Rather unfortunately, the attack on Broadhead's house was so 
interwoven with the Hoeth narrative that I have felt con- 
strained to give them both together, although, in fact, the 
places were somewhat separated from each other, the former 
being near the mouth of the Broad head creek, still bearing 
the name of that family. The house was not far distant from 
where Stroudsburg now stands, and otherwise, its story should 
have been related in the history of Fort Hamilton. After 


completing their barbarous destruction of Mr. Hoeth's family 
and property, the Indians proceeded to Brodhead's, where, 
however, they were not so successful. Meeting with a de- 
termined resistance, they were finally obliged to retire. All 
the members of this household were noted for their bravery. 
Amongst the sons who aided in this defense was, doubtless, 
the one who was afterwards distinguished in the Eevolution, 
and in subsequent Indian Wars, as General Brodhead. He 
had command of Fort Pitt about the year 1780, and previous 
to that had charge of a garrison on the West Branch. He 
was particularly noted for his intrepidity and success in head- 
ing small parties of frontier men against the Indians. 


As I left the site of Fort Norris to drive the fifteen miles 
intervening between it and Wind Gap, the sky was overcast 
and threatening, the utter darkness of a cloudy night closed 
in on me, and found me in a sparsely settled part of the coun- 
try trying to make my way, with jaded horses, over a danger- 
ous road in a terrible condition, and where it was utterly im- 
possible to discern objects at a distance of three feet from 
the carriage. And yet, in the midst of all my discomfort, I 
could not help thinking how favorably even my present lot 
compared with that of our fathers in the "good old times" for 
whose return so many of us sigh even yet. 

Fortunately I secured shelter before the storm burst, and 
the next day was able to proceed. Passing through that pe- 
culiar pass in the mountain, called the Wind Gap, and through 
the picturesque, but long drawn out, town of the same name, 
for about one mile, I finally reached its other end, called 
Woodley, where I stopped, for information, at the "Woodley 
House." This tavern stand, known as Stotz's, and prior to 
that, for a long time, as Heller's, occupies the place where a 
public house had been erected as early as 1752, deriving its 
resources from the travel which passed its doors along the 

Baihgor ^♦^ Portland R.R. 

(l)HtuitHiHt i ii(iH4<fil\lHhnin>Hnfifii|f(iifntiii ' 






















new Minisink road through the Wind Gap. Fortunately its 
landlord, Mr. Seeple, had been brought up as a boy near the 
old Teed Blockhouse and was able to tell me its location, 
which was three miles south of his hotel, at Miller's Station on 
the Bangor and Portland railroad. I immediately proceeded 
to the spot and made all necessary inquiries. As a preliminary 
to its discussion I beg to give a map of the locality: 

This military station is variously called "Teet's House," 
"Deedfs Block House,'' "Tead's Block House," &c., at Wind 
Gap. The reader, by this time, is probably not surprised at 
the variety of phonetical spelling he has come across in our 
old records, and need not be told, what is evident, that this is 
the same name variously spelled. At our present time it is 
my privilege to have been acquainted with members of a family 
whose name is similar. They spell it "Teed," which is prob- 
ably correct. In the neighborhood of what was the original 
Teed property, still live many descendants of that pioneer, 
three of them having farms on the Ackermanville road from 
^ to 2 miles distant, and another, Mrs. Amandus Ehler, about 
55 years old, who is the eldest, residing about one mile be- 
yond Stephen Heitzman's house on the road to Nazareth. I 
am indebted to the latter especially for information. In the 
course of many years, however, the name has become slightly 
changed to "Teel." 

The original building was not a fort erected by the Gov- 
ernment, but merely a blockhouse, the private residence of Mr. 
Teed, which was occupied because it was then the only build- 
ing standing near the position which it was desired to pos- 
sess. This position was certainly an important one, command- 
ing as it did the roads to and from the Wind Gap, the Forts 
at and near the present Stroudsburg, Easton and Nazareth 
From the Wind Gap, proper, it was distant four miles in a 
direction south slightly east, and from Woodley, the lower 
end of Wind Gap, some three miles. Its distance from Naza- 
reth was six miles, and from Easton about twelve miles. 

The Fort, or Blockhouse, stood near the present Miller's 
Station on the Bangor and Portland E. K., about 350 yards 
east of the station building, in which is also the store of Mr. 
Adam Schurg. The situation of the Blockhouse itself was 


unfortunate in one respect ; it stood on the low ground, which, 
about 75 ft. distant to the south, rises to an elevation of 
some 50 ft. Near the base of the elevation is now a spring 
house, distant about 125 ft. from the site of the fort. In olden 
times this was, apparently, ground of a more or less marshy 

Eactly when the soldiers first occupied it we are not told. 
This district was under command of Capt. Nicholas Wetter- 
holt, who, in the exercise of his good judgment, or possibly in 
accordance with orders, very likely placed a small garrison in 
it at an early date in the year 1756. In the report for April 
20, 1756 (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 325 — incorrectly dated 1758), we 
are told that Ensign Sterling, with 11 men, was stationed "at 
Wind Gap, Teet's House." 

Commissary James Young, whilst inspecting the various 
forts in 1756, enters this item in his journal: 

"25 June — At 5 A. M. sett out from Depues for the Wind 
Gapp, where part of Capt. Weatherholts Comp'y is Stationed, 
stopt at Bossarts^ Plantation to feed our horses, was inform'd 
that this morning 2 miles from the house in the Woods they 
had found the Body of Peter Hiss, who had been murdered 
and Scalped ab't the month of Feb'y. At 11 A. M. Came to 
the Wind Gap, where I found Cap'n Weatherholt's Ensign, 
who is Station'd here with 7 men at a Farm house, 4 only were 
present, one was gone to Bethlehem, with a Letter from the 
Jerseys on Indian affairs, one was at a Farm house on Duty, 
and one absent on Furlough from the 15'th to the 22'd, but 
not yet returned, I told the Officer he ought to Esteem him a 
Deserter as he did, found here 6 Provincial Muskets, all good, 
and 6 Rounds of Powder and Lead for Each, I told Cap'n 
Weatherholt to send a supply as soon as Possible. 

At 3 P. M. Sett out from the Wind Gapp for Easton * * 
* * at 6 Came to Easton." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 680). 

Will the reader pardon me if I call his attention to the fact 
that, in speaking of this station, it is called Teed's Blockhouse 
"at Wind Gap." We know tliat this was not actually the fact 
but that, as has been said, it stood four miles away from the 
real Gap. I desire to mention it as an added proof of what 
I have already written relative to the location of Fort Henry 


^^at Tolihaio Gap." It was the only way in which those of that 
time could understandingly refer to certain positions. 

With this digression we return to our subject, and reach it 
at a time to introduce a part of the narrative which, for a 
while was a source of preplexity to me. Eeference to the map 
shows the residence of Stephen Heitzman at the top of the 
elevation, near the spring house, distant from Jas. Florey's 
house, and the site of Teed's Blockhouse, about 75 yards south 
somewhat easterly, and from Miller's Station, about ^ mile 
S. E. This farm is now the property of Mr. Heitzman, but 
was formerly the Kuth farm. A short distance across the 
road from it will be noticed the site of an old blockhouse, used 
as a place of refuge. Concerning this building I was able to 
get information even more readily than of the fort. Mrs. 
Ehler, previously named, was familiar with it, having been 
told of it by her father (a Teel), and other old residents. She 
was informed of its use as a blockhouse during the Indian 
War. Several interesting letters were received from Kev. 
Eli Keller, of Zionsville, Lehigh County, Pa., on this same sub- 
ject. Its position on the hill gave it an excellent view of the 
country, and, at first, I concluded it must be the fort for which 
I was searching. And yet the fact of its being on the hill is 
proof conclusive that such could not be the' case, as we will 
see, later, that Teed's Blockhouse stood on low, swampy 
ground. Then again the original Teed property, was on the 
other side of the spring, and it is doubtful whether he ever 
owned any part of the land on the elevation above the spring. 
Eev. Keller's letters, which are most authentic and come from 
an unquestionable source, as will be seen in a moment, cor- 
roborate this, and give other valuable statements. The Fort 
near Wind Gap, or Teed's Blockhouse, was certainly the home 
of Mr. Teed, probably the only building in the vicinity, and, 
of course, on the original Teed property. All members of the 
family now living, with whom I spoke, told me this was where 
the house of Mr. Jas. Florey now stands and I have no hesi- 
tation in marking this as the site of our- fort. 

And yet the universal statement of those who should know, 
is that a blockhouse stood on top of the hill, and I do not doubt 
the fact myself. I hardly think, either, that the explanation 



of the matter is difficult, but will leave it to the reader to 

We know that this fort, so called, was merely a farm house, 
and, in 1756, its garrison was, at the most, but a handful of 
men. From this time until 1758 no further mention is made 
of it, the natural inference of which would be that it had been 
abandoned as a station. Indeed there is but little doubt of this, 
for we will soon see a petition from the inhabitants, in 1758, 
praying that the soldiers may be sent there, which was done. 
For a while all went well, when suddenly the blow fell from 
an arm which was always uplifted and ready to strike. The 
sufferer was Joseph Keller (great grandfather of Kev. Eli Kel- 
ler, my authority) who was settled in that neighborhood, hav- 
ing come to the country in 1737. On September 15th, 1757, 
his family was attacked by a band of Indians, his wife and two 
sons carried captives to Canada, and the oldest son, a lad of 
14, killed and scalped in the attack. 

Necessarily the neighbors were much alarmed, and felt that 
protection of some sort, for the future, was a thing requiring 
immediate attention. In the absence of troops at Teed's 
house they decided to erect a blockhouse, as a place of refuge. 
Then it was that the building came into existence on the hill, 
and in it gathered all the people every night during the winter 
of 1757-58. 

Kev. Keller here says, "The title of the land on which this 
fort stood was not at that time conveyed to any one. A Pat- 
ent was given to Casper Doll April 26, 1785, by the 'Supreme 
Executive Council of Penn'a' (Thos. Mifflin, Preset) for 153a. — 
90p. for the consideration of £8 16s. 6d. I examined the docu- 
ment and by the boundaries given there can be no doubt as to 
the farm. In 1795 John Young and Lewis Stacher, Executors 
of Casper Doll, sold that tract and other of 80a. — 120p. adjoin- 
ing to John and Henry Ruth for £975. The part on which 
the fort stood was taken by Henry Euth, subsequently owned 
by his son, Jacob Ruth, and now by the latter's son-in-law, 
Stephen Heitzman. These documents I found in the hands of 
Jno. F. Haney, also a son-in-law of Jacob Ruth, and Executor 
of his last will, who lives in the neighborhood. 

The above Henry Ruth tore down the fort and built himself 


a log dwelling house of the timber (when is not known) . That 
house was 26x36 ft. in size, two stories high, and stood till 
1861, when a new house was erected on the same spot (Stephen 
Heitzman's residence — Author). Mr. Jno. F. Haney, being 
a carpenter, had the building to do, and gave me interesting 
facts with reference to the timber, &c. It was all of the finest 
white oak. The logs were hewn very smoothly and of equal 
width. The courses were of equal height, some fully two feet. 
Their thickness was eight inches. The corners were not 
notched, but dovetailed in such a way as to fit exactly and rest 
on each other throughout. The ends of the logs were sawed 
off. Two corners of Henry Ruth's house were as the fort had 
been, and the others (the logs being shortened) were lapped 
squarely and fastened by wooden pegs. The timber had no 
signs of being worm-eaten, not even in a little bark left at a 
few corners. Mr. Haney noticed a number of two inch auger 
holes bored through which might have been intended as port 

The locality of the fort is not to be doubted. There are per- 
sons there who saw the foundations ploughed up and the 
stones removed. It was on the high ground above the spring 
(see sketch — Author). 

A Mr. John Teel lived at that spring sixty years ago, a rela- 
tive of Mr. Ruth, but he never owned the land where the fort 
was. Mr. Teel had but a lot on low ground, west of the 
spring, but Mr. Ruth owned the farm (and spring) and had 
the high ground where the fort was located. Miller's Station 
on the B. & P. R. R. is the place. We called that (when he 
was there 40 years ago) "Springtown," and where the Station 
is "Dreisbach's." That there should have been soldiers at 
that Blockhouse I never heard, nor can I believe it. The 
house was built in order that the people of that neighborhood 
might gather in it every night, but attend to their work dur- 
ing the day. Why should they have needed soldiers when 
they could take care of themselves, under existing arrange- 
ments? Soldiers having been quartered there would have 
been handed down traditionally, and (as I think) I would have 
heard something of it. The raid made on our family (as we 


always believed) was made by but a few Indians, as Mother 
Keller (who duly returned from her captivity) also testified. 
There was then no open foe, and no need for regular soldiers. 
Of the size and appearance of the Blockhouse I know nothing. 

What I know I learned traditionally, and also from certain 
statements contained in the family Bible of the said Joseph 
Keller, still in my possession. As a lad I often saw and heard 
my grandfather, Philip Keller, and a brother of his, some 
years older, speak of those times." 

Eev. Keller is a gentleman well advanced in years himself, 
and his information can hardly be doubted. I feel that what 
he has said confirms what I have been endeavoring to prove. 

Mr. Keller's great grandmother was eventually released from 
her captivity, and, naturally, related many interesting inci- 
dents connected with the same. ''Whilst held as a prisoner 
at Montreal in Canada by certain French officers, she heard of 
the Indians there, who had come from 'beyond the Blue M'ts,' 
as they called it, that there were excellent marksmen at the 
fort, — that one evening, whilst the Indians were watching the 
fort, one was almost shot by one of them, at a great distance." 

Mr. Keller also relates the following; 

1 — "That the girls one evening had been unruly, and, to 
tease them, the boys put them outside. As was natural, they 
became alarmed, and, promising behavior, were allowed to 
enter again. This story was brought back from Montreal by 
Mother Keller, who had learned it of Indians who had been 
on the watch at the time." 

2 — "Father Keller one evening had left his home for the 
Blockhouse, but, remembering something he wished to do, 
turned back. Coming near his house he discovered several 
Indians in it. He hastened away to secure help, but, when 
they came, the Indians were gone, and so was the greater part 
of his tobacco he had on his garret. He expressed great sor- 
row ever after for not attacking them single handed. ^A few 
of them at least would have remained on the spot,' he ex- 
pressed himself." 

3 — "One evening the men were at target shooting, having the 


mark against a tree. One of them (I think his name was 
Andre) shot into the root of the tree, which met with unpleas- 
ant remarks, inasmuch as they were excellent marksmen in 
general. In defence of the man others said, 'He would shoot 
them in the feet, and we would get them sure, not being able 
to run.' " 

So ends our narrative of the Blockhouse on the hill which 
indeed is more interesting than that of the Fort. 

In 1758, probably the early part, hearing that troops were 
to be removed south of the mountain, from above, the follow- 
ing petition was sent to the Governor : 

''To his Honour William Denny, Esq., Governor of Pennsyl- 
vania : 

The humble Petition of Divers of the Inhabitants of Mount 
Bethel, Plainfield and Forks of Delaware, and Places Adja- 
cent, Humbly Sheweth: 

That Whereas your Distress'd Petitioners, many of us hav- 
ing suffered much by a most barbarous and Savage Enemy, 
and we hearing that the Company which has been stationed 
above us is going to be Eemoved over the Blew Mountain, 
which has put us to the utmost Confusion, we being Sensible 
by Experience that the Company has been of Little or no 
Benefitt unto us while over the Mountain, and Altho' we 
would by no means be understood to Dictate unto Your Hon- 
our, we hope that it will not be counted presumption humbly 
to Inform your Honour, That a Station for a Number of Men, 
somewhere near the Wind Gapp, under the Blew Mountain 
on the East side thereof, might have the best Tendency to 
Secure the Inhabitants of these parts. Therefore, We, your 
honour's Destressed Petitioners humbly Implore you to take 
it into Consideration as your honour's Goodness thinks proper, 
for the safety of your humble petitioners who are in Duty 
bound to pray." 

[Numerous Signatures.] 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 321, also 358.) 

Unfortunately there is no date attached to this petition, and 
we cannot say definitely when it was sent, but it was, most 
likely, the latter part of 1757 or beginning of 1758. Whether 


owing to this, or not, we find, from Adjutant Kern's Report 
of February 5th, 1758, that there was then stationed at "The 
Wind Gapp, Tead's Blockhouse," Lieu't Hyndshaw, of Garra- 
way's Company, with 27 men, 20 Province Arms, 11 private 
Arms, 60 lt)S powder, 120 lb lead, 4 months provisions, 10 
cartridges, that Mr. De Pew was the Commissary, and that 
it was 20 miles distant from P. Dolls Blockhouse. (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 340). 

Major James Burd, on his visit of inspection in 1758, says : 

March I'st. Wednesday. 

Marched from hence (Lieut. Snyders at P. Dolls Blockhouse) 
to Lieut. Hyndshaw's Station at 10 A. M., arrived at Naza- 
reth at 1 P. M., here dined, 8 miles. Sett off again at 2 P. M. ar- 
rived at Tead's at 3 P. M., 6 miles. Here I found Ensigne Ken- 
nedy with 16 men, who informed me that Lieut. Hyndshaw 
& Ensigne Hughes would be here one hour hence, at ^ after 
5 P. M. Mess'rs Hyndshaw & Hughes arrived with 14 men. 

Ordered a Revew and found here 30 good men, stores, 50 
pounds of powder & 100 pound of lead, no flints, one Wall piece, 
1 shovell, 13 axes good for nothing, & 28 Tomahawks, 56 
Blanketts, 46 Guns & 46 Cartouch boxes, little Provision here 
and no Convenience to lay up a Store; this is a very bad 
Quarters, the House is built in a Swamp, bad water. 

2'd, Thursday. 
Marched from hence at 9 A. M. for Mr. Samuel Depews. * * 

4th, Saturday. 

Sett off this morning for Easton (from Depews), extream 
cold, arrived at Tead's, 21 miles, at 1 P. M. here dined, at 2 
P. M. sett off from hence, arrived at Easton at 7 P. M., 12 miles. 
* * * * (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 356). 

We hear nothing more of Tead's Blockhouse near Wind 

With the return of comparative peace in 1758 the station 
was undoubtedly abandoned, like many others. Whilst it was 
but a farm house, presumably surrounded by the usual stock- 
ade, yet it was still a fort, and deserves to have its name per- 









petuated in history. I would recommend a tablet for it, at the 
side of the public road near by. 


On his tour of inspection to Tead's Blockhouse Major Burd 
makes mention of a station at Peter Doll's Blockhouse. As 
will be seen more in detail presently, this defense was close 
to the southern base of the Blue range, between Little Gap 
and Smith's Gap. Heretofore no attempt seems ever to have 
been made to fix its location, and it was only with much dif- 
ficulty that I succeeded in my effort, and even then I met with 
success only ^t the last minute. For it I am indebted to the 
kindly aid of Mr. James H. Scholl, of Klecknersville, whose 
family are old residents of the vicinity and whose father, Mr. 
James Scholl, still lives and has been the owner of Scholl's 
Mill, but a short distance from the site of Doll's Blockhouse, 
for over half a century. 

Moore township, of Northampton county, in which the de- 
fense just mentioned stood, was equally unfortunate with 
other parts of the frontier, even if history has failed so far, 
to make equally prominent its sufferings. The traditions of 
the neighborhood tell of many massacres by the savages, but 
unfortunately the lapse of so many years has robbed them of 
all details and made them of little value for historical men- 
tion. The only record I have found is that given by Dr. Egle 
(History of Penn'a, vol. ii, p. 995), where he states that, in 
January, 1756, the Indians entered the township and com- 
mitted a series of depredations and murders, firing the houses 
and barns of Christian Miller, Henry Diehl, Henry Shopp, 
Nicholas Heil, Nicholas Sholl and Peter Doll, killing one of 
Hell's children and John Bauman. The body of the latter was 
found two weeks after the maraud and interred in the Mora- 
vian burying ground at Nazareth. 

This, however, was but one of the many like occurrences 
which kept the settlers in a constant state of alarm for more 
than a year and half, during which time they endeavored to 


defend themselves as best they could, or fled from their homes. 
Then came, in the summer of 1757, the treaty of peace with 
the Indians at Easton, and the people looked forward to a ces- 
sation of hostilities and immunity from further danger. We 
have seen how little real basis there was for this anticipation, 
and know how the enemy continued, almost without intermis- 
sion, their deadly work. We can realize the discouragement 
of the inhabitants and feel no surprise at the following petition 
from those living just south of the mountains, including es- 
pecially, the settlers of our present Moore township. This 
letter may be said to have given birth to the station now 
under consideration: 

To the Honourable the Governor and General Assembly, &c.: 

The Petition of the back Inhabitants, viz't, of the Township 
of Lehigh situate between Allentown and the Blue Mountains, 
in the county of Northampton, most humbly Sheweth : 

That the said Township for a few years past has been, to 
your knowledge, ruined and destroyed by the murdering In- 

That since the late Peace the said inhabitants returned to 
their several and respective Places of abode, and some of them 
have rebuilt their Houses and Outhouses, which were burnt. 

That since the new murders were committed some of the 
said inhabitants deserted their Plantations, and fled in the 
more improved Parts of this Province, where they remain. 

That unless your Petitioners get Assistance from you, your 
Petitioners will be reduced to Poverty. 

That the District in which your petitioners dwell contains 
20 miles in Length and eight miles in Breadth, which is two 
extensive for your Petitioners to defend without you assist 
with some Forces. 

That your Petitioners apprehend it to be necessary for their 
Defence that a Road be cut along the Blue Mountains, through 
the Township afores'd, and that several Guard Houses be built 
along this said Road, which may be accomplished with very 
little Cost. 

That there are many inhabitants in the said Township who 
have neither Arms nor Ammunition, and who are too poor 
to provide themselves therewith. 



That several Indians keep lurking about the Blue Moun- 
tains who pretend to be Friends, and as several People have 
lately been captivated thereabouts, we presume it must be by 

May it therefore Please your Honours to take our deplor- 
able condition in Consideration, and grant us Men and Ammu- 
nition that we may thereby be enabled to defend ourselves, 
our Properties, and the Lives of our Wives and Children, Or 
grant such other Relief in the Premises as to you shall seem 
meet, and your Petitioners, as in Duty bound, will ever pray. 

Forks of Delaware, Ocf r 5th, 1757. 

Peter Barber, 
Jacob Buchman, 
Jacob Aliman, Sen'r, 
Jacob Aliman, Jr., 
Adam Freisbach, 
Jacob Bricker, 
Michael Keppel, 
Peter Doll, 
John Kannady, 
William Boyd, 
Jacob Musselman, 
Jacob Letherach, 
Henry Frederick, 
William Best, 
Jacob Haag, 
Geo. Haag, 
William Detter, 
Nich's Schneider, 
Geo. Acker 
Jacob Fry, 
Martin Siegel, 
Christian Andreas, 
BathV Rivel, 
George Altmar, 
Jacob Altmar, 
Bernard Kuntz, 

Christian Miller, 
Christian Laffer, 
Henry Beck, 
Nich's Schneider, 
Peter Schopffell, 
William Beck, 
Henry Diehl, 
John Bethold, 
John Remberry, 
John Dorn, 
Fred Eissen, 
James Hutchinson, 
James Rankin, 
Paul Flick, 
Peter Walcker, 
Nich's Fall, 
Adam Kramler, 
Henry Lutter, 
Nicolas Roth, 
Nich's Heil, 
Simon Trumm, 
Henry Liend, 
John Detter, 
Adam Marsh, 
Peter Eisseman, 
Peter Anton, 
George Meyer, 


Bernard Keiss, John Scheier, 

Samuel Pern, John Gress, 

Jean Pier, Christopher Feuchtner, 

George Wannemacher, Conrad Geisley, 

Valentine Waldman, Jacob Kropff, 

John Fried, Jacob Both, 

Jost Triesbach, Jacob Death or Rodt, 

Fred Altimus, Henry Flach, 

Philip Tromin, Henry Creutz, 

John Schlegal, Michael Rieb, 

Henry Schubp, Simon Triesbach, 

Fred Nagel, William Kannady. 

These are to certify that we have impowered Frederick 
Eissen to give this, our Petition, to the Honour'bl the Gov- 
ernor and the Assembly. 

The foregoing and within writing was translated from the 
German Paper writing hereto annexed, by me. 


(Penn. Arch., vol. iii, p. 284.) 

This very proper and deserving petition seems to have met 
with prompt recognition and action. To a certain extent at 
least better communications were opened up along the base 
of the mountains, and several stations were selected to be 
garrisoned by Provincial troops and used for defensive pur- 
poses. In this instance they were generally private residences 
or buildings already in existence. Amongst them was the 
dwelling of Peter Doll, whose name has already been noticed 
by the reader on the petition just given and amongst the suf- 
ferers in the raid of January, 1756. He was most likely the 
Johannes Peter Doll who was qualified in the Province on 
August 30th, 1737, having arrived on the ship "Samuel/' Hugh 
Percy, Master, from Rotterdam. On the original list his name 
is given, as we have it, simply Peter Doll. His age was then 
24. We are unable to mention the exact date on which the 
troops occupied this station, but Adjutant Kern, in his report 
of February 5th, 1758, gives Lieut. Snyder, of Capt. Davis' 
Company, as on duty at P. Doll's Blockhouse, with 25 men, 
16 province arms, 9 private arms, 40 lbs of powder, 50 lbs of 


lead, 4 months provisions, 10 cartridges, and names Jacob 
Levan as the commissary of the station. The distance from 
Mr. Dupuf s house on the Delaware river, as well as from 
Teed's Blockhouse near Wind Gap, is given as 20 miles, and 
from the fort at Lehigh Gap as 8 miles. (Penn. Arch., vol. iii, 
p. 339-340.) The building was probably, as its name indicates, 
a log house, but an exact knowledge of its character and ap- 
pearance has passed out of the memory of the descendants 
of those who took part in the stirring events which we are 
relating. We do know, however, that, unlike most other places 
of defense, it was not surrounded by a stockade, but had con- 
nected with it two barracks for the accommodation of the 

The map herewith given will show its exact location. 

Peter Doll's Blockhouse stood on the road running along 
the base of the mountain, or near it, and along the Hocken- 
dauqua Creek. The spot marked ''Burries' Spring," about half 
way up the mountain on the road through the old Smith's Gap, 
shows the source and headwater of the Hockendauqua and was 
noted as a prominent Indian resort, many relics of its former 
habitues, in the form of arrow heads, etc., being still found 
there. The site of Doll's Blockhouse was some f mile west 
from the mill now occupied by James SchoU, Sr., who, as al- 
ready stated, has been its owner for over half a century. The 
mill stands at the intersection of the road to Klecknersville, 
from which it is distant 1^ miles. Continuing on the road 
along the creek, we come to the house of Sylvester Smith, in 
close proximity to the Blockhouse, and, some three miles fur- 
ther on, to Santee Mills, nearly in a line south from Little Gap. 
The place marked as now occupied by John Henry is supposed 
to be the first farm taken up and occupied by white men in the 
vicinity. The son of the owner, by name Beck, from New Jer- 
sey, was massacred on the tract after a long and desperate 
struggle. Mr. Scholl's present property was a part of this 
original tract. The whole locality, which seems to have been 
naturally adapted to the comfort of the aborigines, contains 
many remains of their hunting implements. Santee Mills, 
and indeed all the neighborhood, was the scene of numerous 
murders and depredations. 


It is to be regretted that so little of the history of Peter 
Doll's Blockhouse has been preserved. There only remains 
the mention made of it by Major James Burd in his tour of 
inspection during the Spring of 1758, after which it drops out 
of our sight. It was doubtless more or less occupied until 
the final cessation of hostilities in that same year. Major 
Burd says, under date of Tuesday, February 28th, 1758, "Ar- 
rived at Lieut. Ingle's at 4 P. M. (Fort Norris) ; ordered a Re- 
view Immediately * * *^ arrived at Lieut. Snyder's Sta- 
tion at 7 P. M. (Peter Doll's Blockhouse), 8 miles, ordered a re- 
view tomorrow morning, here I stay all night. 

March 1st, Wednesday. 

Reviewed this morning & found here Lieut. Snyder & 23 
men undissiplined, 15 tt> powder, 30 Vb lead, no blankets, 8 
Province Arms bad. 

Lieut. Humphreys relieved Lieut. Snyder this morning, or- 
dered Lieut. Snyder to his post over Susquehanna. 

I am informed by the officers here, Lieut's Ingle & Snyder, 

that Wilson, Esq'r, a Majestrate in this County, has 

acquainted the Farmers that they should not assist the Troops 
unless the officers immediately pay & that said Wilson has 
likewise informed ye soldiers they should not take their Regi- 
mentalls, as it only puts money in their officers pockets. I 
have found a Serg't confined here on acc't of mutiny, and 
have ordered a Regimen tall Court Martiall this morning; at 
this Station there is two barricks, no stockade. 

Marched from hence to Lieut. Hyndshaw's Station at 10 A. 
M., arrived at Nazareth at 1 P. M., here dined, 8 miles. Sett 
off again at 2 P. M. arrived at Tead's at 3 P. M., 6 miles." * * 
(Penn. Arch., vol. iii, p. 356.) 


The history of the places used for defence against the In- 
dians in the Province of Pennsylvania would not be complete 
without reference to the stockade at the Moravian Settlement 
of Nazareth, and their Stockaded Mill at Friedensthal near by. 


The history of the Moravians, or more properly "Unitatis 
Fratrum," is so closely interwoven with that of Northampton 
county, and the influence which they have brought to bear 
upon its welfare, so great, that it would be most desirable if 
it could here be given in full. But this is impossible, and in- 
deed the connection of the Brethren with the epoch of the In- 
dian War was, in itself, so extensive, as to prevent more than 
a passing account of their plans for defense against the enemy 
and for protection of the multitude of refugees who flocked to 
their settlements. 

Casual mention has heretofore been made of their defenses 
at Bethlehem, but, whilst this was a most important town, 
yet it was so far distant from the actual scene of hostilities 
as to probably remove it from the scope of this report. 

With Nazareth, however, this was different, and a chance 
occurrence at any time might have brought the savages to its 
door. I have therefore taken the liberty of making numerous 
extracts from the valuable papers of the late Kev. William 
C. Reichel entitled "Disjecta Membra" — Transactions Mora- 
vian Historical Society, part x, vol. 1, and "Friendensthal and 
its Stockaded Mill" — Transactions Moravian Historical So- 
ciety, Series 2, Part 1. 

At Nazareth the "Whitefield House" is the central point of 
interest, and one directly applicable to this article, as it 
was this building which became the Nazareth Stockade. 

On May 3d, 1740, George Whitefield, the founder of Calvin- 
istic Methodism, agreed with Mr. William Allen, of Philadel- 
phia, for 5,000 Acres of land in the Forks of the Delaware, the 
name given to all the country between the Lehigh and Dela- 
ware rivers, and including the whole county of Northampton. 
The price paid was £2,200 sterling. On this was to be erected 
a school for negroes, and a Methodist settlement to be founded. 
This tract was called "Nazareth." The Delawares, who had 
a village on the same land at this time, called it "Welagamika," 
signifying "rich soil." 

Amongst the fellow passengers of Whitefield from Georgia 
to Philadelphia, in April, 1740, was Peter Boehler and the 
remnant of the Moravian colonists of the former Province. 


With him arrangements were made to erect the building. 
Taking with him the Brethren, Boehler at once started for 
Nazareth and went to work, but by the first week in September 
the walls of the school were built no higher than the door sill, 
and £300 had already been expended. Various things pre- 
vented progress in the work, until the spring of 1741, when 
Whitefield became pecuniarily embarrassed, and during the 
same summer consented to sell the entire tract to Bishop 
Spangenberg of the Moravian Church. The deed of sale was 
executed July 17, 1741. 

On Dec'r 2d, 1741, Count Zinzendorf landed at New York. 
In the summer of 1742 he instituted proceedings for the re- 
moval of the Indians on the property, but was not successful 
until the middle of December when the Brethren found them- 
selves, at last, the sole possessors of their two log-houses with 
garden adjacent, and the stone walls of the ill-fated and un- 
finished school. 

Meanwhile Zinzendorf abroad, in the summer of 1743, was 
busy fitting out a second colony of Brethren and Sisters, one 
portion of which he designed to locate at Nazareth. When 
intelligence of this fact reached Bethlehem in the second week 
of September, masons were sent up immediately thereafter, 
on the 18th, to resume work on the ''stone house" (so called), 
and hasten it to completion. Two years, therefore, had fully 
elapsed since the trowel had last rung on the limestones of 
this now venerable pile. By the close of the year the work 
was done, and, on the 2d of January, 1744, it was occupied 
by thirty-three couples, members of the colony that had been 
imported on the ''Little Strength," Capt. Garrison, in Novem- 
ber previous. The building contained eleven dwelling rooms, 
three large rooms or halls, and two cellars. 

In 1745, the first of the group of buildings at the improve- 
ment called by later generations "Old Nazareth," was built. 
Thither the adult inmates of the "Stone house" were gradu- 
ally removed, and the building assigned for the children of the 
settlement, and for a "boarding school for girls." 

On January 7th, 1749, fifty-six infants, varying in age from 
fifteen months to five years, with their attendants and instruc- 
tors (widows and single sisters) removed from Bethlehem into 


the "Stone house," which henceforth was called the "Nur- 

The Indian War broke in rudely upon the quiet of this "home 
of little ones," and when the savages came down into the set- 
tlements in the autumn of 1755, it was thought prudent to 
remove the nurslings and the pupils of the Boarding School 
to Bethlehem. 

It then became a place of refuge for settlers from the fron- 
tier. In December, 1755, sentry boxes were erected near the 
principal buildings of Old Nazareth. They were made of 
green logs having the chinks filled with clay, and so consid- 
ered as practically fire proof. In each of these four men 
watched at night. Whilst Capt. Isaac Wayne's Company were 
on duty at Nazareth these sentries were detailed from his 
command. In February, 1756, a stockade was erected around 
the cattle yard, and on May 26th, 1756, was begun a trench for 
the palisades to be erected as a stockade around the Whitefield 
House and two log houses adjacent. This stockade was 236 
by 170 feet and 10 feet high, being flanked by sentry boxes 
in which sentries were constantly on duty, not less than eight 
men constitutiing a watch. To celebrate the completion of 
their work, the Brethren met, on June. 4th, in a Love Feast. 
The timber for this stockade was cut in April, prior to its 

After the Indian War it was occupied by various families 
as a domicile, but has now been rescued from the decay inci- 
dental to neglect and become the headquarters of the Mora- 
vian Historical Society. It is a large antique edifice, built of 
limestone, with a hip roof, and has in front between the 
stories a brick band with crank-shaped ends, similar to those 
in many old houses in Philadelphia. This band marks the 
limits of Whitefield's labors. 

It stands in "Old Nazareth," which shows plainly the rav- 
ages of Time. In 1771 "New Nazareth" was laid out around 
Nazareth Hall and grew apace until it became the principal 
place in the "Barony," now the Borough of Nazareth. The 
Whitefield, or Ephrata House is S. E. from Nazareth Hall, 
and on what is now the southeast corner of Centre street. Of 
this Kev. Keichel says, "There was a time within our memory, 


when it stood back from the dusty street, and when its ap- 
proach from the highway was by a stile, which being crossed, 
led you under the shade of embowering trees, to the carpet 
of green that spread out invitingly on the sunny side of its 
gray limestone walls.'' 

The Moravian Church was a Church of Missionaries. Its 
first care, when planted in its new home, was for the souls of 
its Indian neighbors, many of whom were converted and be- 
came inmates of their settlements. During the terrible atro- 
cities incident to the Indian War the settlers became incensed 
against all "red skins" to a degree difficult, at this day, to fully 
realize. With their families butchered before their eyes, and 
their property laying waste, all Indians were to them enemies, 
whether actually friendly or not, and were of no value except 
for the bounty their scalps might bring from the Government. 
Not a few innocent Indians were actually slaughtered, and 
suspicious eyes were especially cast on the Moravian Indians 
who were accused of treachery and of taking part in the 
forays against the white settlers. Even the Moravians them- 
selves were said to be in league with the French. Much has 
been said on the subject and many arguments made "pro" 
and "con." I do not propose to take any of them up, but mere- 
ly to quote Bishop Jos. Spangenberg's letter of July 31st, 1758, 
to Secretary Eichard Peters, which I believe places the matter 
fairly before the reader : 

Mr. Richard Peters: 

I humbly thank You for giving me an Account of Mr. 
Smith's Information, viz't. That he, being a Prisoner in the 
French Countries, saw there the Moravian Indians go and come 
most every week, &c. 

Give me leave to observe, first, that a Moravian Indian is 
a Sideroxylon. Moravia is no Religion, but a certain country. 
But I suppose he means either some Indians who once have 
lived at Gnadenhutten, or he means Indians who were coming 
from Bethlehem. 

If he calls them who once lived at Gnadenhutten, Moravian 
Indians, he may have seen such amongst the French. For 


several Indians who once lived at Gnadenhutten went up to 
live at the Susquehannah, before we had any Wars, and have 
been involved in them, some with, some against their Will. 

If he means Indians who came from Bethlehem, I suppose 
he was not mistaken either. For when Governor Morris is- 
sued a Proclamation, setting forth a Cessation of Arms on this 
Side Susquehannah, numbers of Indians came to Bethlehem, 
stayed there some Time, went off again, and returned at Pleas- 
ure. The Brethren acquainted the Governor with it, not only 
by Letters, but also by Two Deputies, earnestly requesting 
and intreating, that the said Indians might be ordered to be 
somewhere else. For Bethlehem was become a Frontier Place, 
and in continual Danger of being set on Fire and cut off cru- 
elly by their very Guests. But the Government had weighty 
Reasons for leaving the Indians at Bethelehem, and when once 
they were removed to Easton for bringing them back again to 

But if Mr. Smith means by Moravian Indians those Indian 
Families, who, when the war broke out, and our People were 
cruelly murdered on the Mahony, fled to Bethlehem, and gave 
themselves under English Protection, which also was granted 
them, and who afterwards had their Houses at Gnadenhutten 
burnt, their Provisions destroyed and their Horses carried 
away, he is certainly mistaken. For these very same Indians 
were, as well as all other Men in Bethlehem, continually em- 
ployed in the Time of War, in keeping Watch, &c., and kept 
about Bethlehem for fear of being hurted by others, or of 
frightening them. And when Peace was a making they were 
our Watchmen in the Harvest Time, or they set themselves 
to work, which is so notorious that, on Occasion, one could 
bring One Hundred Evidences to prove it. After Peace was 
made, they have ventured out a hunting again, but did not go 
further than just behind the blue Mountains, except one or 
another of them were sent as Messengers from the Govern- 
ment. But with Eespect to any Imputation that may ly on 
our Characters, as if we were on any Account carrying on a 
political, or any other Correspondence with the French, I do 
declare that there is no such Thing; and if either Mr. Smith, 
or any body else, is of Opinion that any one of us had a Hand 



in a Correspondence with the French, or that any one of us 
even had known of the Indians going to them, or coming from 
them, further than what we immediately have communicated 
to the Government of this Province, He is certainly mistaken. 

I am. Sir, 
Your most humble Ser't, 
(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 500.) JOS. SPANGENBEEG. 

As the Moravians had extended their operations from Beth- 
lehem to Nazareth, so they advanced from this place to Gna- 
denhutten, on the Lehigh Kiver above the Blue mountains. 
We read of the flourishing condition of this Mission and then 
of its utter destruction in November, 1755. This was quickly 
followed, on December 10th, by the murder of the Hoeth fam- 
ily, on the Poco Poco creek, near Fort Norris, and the next 
day by the attack on Brodhead's, near Stroudsburg. Then 
came the flight of the luckless inhabitants across the moun- 
tains, in all conditions of wretchedness. Then it was that 
the old Whitefield House, opened its doors and received the 
poor refugees, until, on January 29th, 1756, it held 253, many 
of them children. It was a dark winter in the history of ^'Old 

The gravity of the position, at the outbreak of hostilities 
was so great that the Government felt constrained to give 
assistance to the Moravians in their defence of Nazareth. 
The first regular officer stationed there, of whom I can find 
record, was Capt. Wayne, of Chester county. The following 
orders were sent him by Governor Morris, on January 3d, 1756, 
who was then at Reading and had just received the news of 
the destruction of Gnadenhutten and murder of Capt. Hays 
soldiers : 

Cap. Wayne : 

You are upon your return from Depeu's to Halt with your 
Company at Nazareth, and there to remain until further or- 
ders, taking care all the while you are there to keep your com- 
pany in good order, and to post them in such a manner as 
most Eiffectually to guard and secure that place against any 
attack; c.Tid if you should be past Nazareth when you receive 

NAzAmBTM Hall tti JanyJ///. 



A . Nazap?bth Hall 

■ i'AC. G^As/e YAmo 
Caio gut h^ I/JQ 






SC^i-S: OP ff6i>S. 


or TH E 
or N AZA R ETH ,) 

=>TON County PENfNSYtvANiA. 
FIVE Moravian settlements 

;2oo f7SB ; 

Dates or the FouNDATiort of the Five 

MaRAvjAN Settixmeht^. 

Nazareth. * 114-5, 

Gnadehthal or Vale or Grac£. 17A^5. 
Christians 5pi^ino. /748. 

pRiEOENSTHAii OR Va^COFP&AC£. 174^9- 

The Rose. /7J£. 

rowM or r^f\ZARE.T^ 


or TH E 

Jd arony of Nazareth, 1 

IN Northampton CouNTv Pennsylvania 






these orders, you are then to return thither, and remain there, 
posting your men as abo¥e you are directed. 

You are, as soon as you can, to augment your company with 
the number of twenty men, each man to find himself with a 
gun and a Blanket, for the use of which a reasonable allow- 
ance will be made by the Government. And, in making this 
Augmentation you are to take care to keep an exact account 
of the time when each man enters himself with you, so that 
you may be enabled to make a proper return to me upon oath. 

You are to inform the men of your company and such of the 
other companys as you shall Joyn or have occasion to send to, 
that They shall receive a reward from the Government of 
forty Pieces of Eight for every Indian they shall kill & scalp 
in any action they may have with them, which I hereby prom- 
ise to pay upon producing the Scalps. 

As there may be occasion for the immediate use of your 
Company in another part of the Country, you are to Hold your- 
self in readiness to march upon an Hour's warning. (Penn. 
Arch., ii, p. 542.) 

His stay at Nazareth was but short. Benjamin Franklin 
very shortly after took charge of the direction of affairs. On 
January 14th, he reported to the Governor from Bethlehem 
that he found Wayne posted at Nazareth, as Ordered ; that he 
had sent a convoy of provisions and supplies to Trump and 
Ashton, who were erecting the forts on the Delaware, which 
was to be escorted as far as Nazareth by Lieut. Davis and the 
twenty men of McLauglin's company who had come with 
him, Franklin ; they then were to remain at Nazareth to guard 
that place while Capt. Wayne, whose men were fresh pro- 
ceeded with the convoy. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 549.) Upon his 
return Capt. Wayne accompanied Franklin to Gnadenhutten 
to assist in the erection of Fort Allen. 

That other troops were, off and on, constantly at Nazareth, 
as long as there was any need for them, seems most probable. 
The nature of the stockade, however, was so different from 
that of the other forts, and the organization of the Brethren 
themselves so complete, that it can hardly be called a regular 
military station, as some others. Nevertheless, its importance 


and the noble work which it accomplished, cannot be gainsaid. 
I believe a tablet, commemorating sgme of the facts just set 
forth, would add materially to the interest now attached to 
this venerable building at Nazareth. 


One mile Northeast from the old stone Whitefield, or Eph- 
rata House, at Nazareth, stood the mill which the Brethren 
had erected on the banks of the Bushkill creek, and which 
they named "Friedensthal," or the "Vale of Peace." This was 
also stockaded and played its part in the terrible drama of the 
times. It was in what is now Palmer township of Northamp- 
ton county. 

The matter of converting their grain into flour had become 
a serious matter to the Brethren at Nazareth already in 1749. 
It is true a mill had been erected at Christian's Spring in 1747, 
about one mile to the south of west from Nazareth, on the 
Monocasy creek, of which the lower story was a grist and the 
upper story a saw mill, but this was of very limited capacity. 
Nearly all the grain therefore had to be transported annually 
to Bethlehem at great loss of time and money. 

It was resolved, therefore, to erect a second mill, and, on 
October 28th, 1749, John Nitschmann and Henry Antes, both 
from Bethlehem and men of experience, came to Nazareth 
to selcet a desirable site. Failing to find what they wanted 
on the Monocasy creek, within the precincts of the Barony, 
they turned their footsteps eastward and, coming to the banks 
of the charming stream, which the Van Bogarts from Esopus 
named ''Bushkill," and which the Scotch-Irish called "Lefevre's 
creek," after Johannes Lefevre, whose meadows, distant a 
short mile to the south were irrigated by its waters, they se- 
lected the spot which was afterwards named "Friedensthal." 
This tract comprising 324 acres, was also the property of 
William Allen, of Philadelphia. Negotiations with him for its 
purchase were finally concluded on January 3d, 1750, the con- 
sideration being £324, lawful money of the Province. 


NEKRTHe Barony of NftiaRETH. Northampton O.'.Piunt 

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Stcr^veyecC by (^'^.jy^m^y^^^f^^^^'^^^^ 



Immediately the Brethren commenced to clear the land, and 
the mill building, under the supervision of Mr. Antes, was 
started. In the second week of August, 1750, this was com- 
pleted and in running order. It was located on the left bank 
of the creek, about one hundred yards north of the spot on 
which its successor stands, and was a substantial limestone 
structure with a frontage of 34 feet towards the south and a 
depth of 48 feet, and had four rooms. It was furnished with 
an overshot water-wheel and one run of stones, which were 
cut by Peter May in his quarry on the Neshaminy and were 
delivered at the "Kill'' at a cost of £9 10s. currency. The mill 
irons were wrought at the iron works of Messrs. Wm. Logan 
& Co., Durham. 

On August 21st, 1750, the new mill was inaugurated in its 
career of usefulness. The dwelling, or farmhouse, meanwhile, 
was still in the hands of the carpenters, being, in fact, not 
ready for occupancy until the spring of 1751. It stood di- 
rectly east of the mill, was built of logs, 32 by 20 feet, was two 
stories high, and had four apartments. A flaring frame barn 
and three annexes, one for the horses, one for the cows, and 
one for the sheep, with a total frontage of 88 feet towards the 
south and a depth of 30 feet, eventually flanked the dwelling 
on the east. *• 

For a few brief years this was indeed a "Vale of Peace." 
Then came Braddock's defeat, and the merciless tomahawk of 
the Indian. We are already familiar with the terrible events 
of the months in the latter part of 1755, and how the poor 
settlers were obliged to flee for their lives, abandoning home, 
property and all, for mere safety. We also know how the 
stream of refugees flowed into and past Nazareth, and, like a 
river overflowing its banks, inundated that Barony. On Janu- 
ary 29th, 1756, there were 253 at Nazareth, 52 at Gnadenthal, 
48 at Christian's Spring, 21 at the "Kose" and 75 at Friedens- 
thal. Of this number 226 were children. 

In the annals of Friedensthal Economy, the first arrival of 
fugitives is chronicled on the 13th of December, 1755, and 
special mention made of a poor Palatine who had barely es- 
caped from the hands of the murdering savages near Hoeth's. 
It was late in the night when word was brought to him that 


Hoetli's had been cut off. There was not a moment to be lost, 
so, taking his helpless wife upon his shoulders, as she lay in 
bed (she had but lately given birth to an infant) he fled for his 
life. On the 21st a fugitive brought the report to the farm 
that the following night had been fixed upon by the Indians 
for a simultaneous attack upon the five plantations on the 
Barony. Brother Nathaniel Seidel, of Bethlehem, who, so to 
say, was in command at the "upper places" since the breaking 
out of hostilities, with his headquarters at Christian's Spring, 
thereupon took precautionary steps to avert a surprise, and, 
there being two companies of riflemen at Nazareth, he posted 
Lieut. Brown of Captain Sol. Jenning's Company of Ulster- 
Scots, with 18 men, at Friedensthal. There w^as, however, no 
need of their presence, or possibly, because of their presence, 
the enemy desisted from attack. 

On the 15th of January a company of refugees at Bethlehem 
set out for the mountains to look after their farms and cattle. 
Among them was Christian Boemper, a son of Abraham Boem- 
per, of Bethlehem, silversmith, and son-in-law of Frederick 
Hoeth. With him was Adam Hold, his servant, a Redemp- 
tioner. The party, and some soldiers who escorted them, fell 
into the hands of the Indians, near Schupp's Mill, Hold alone 
escaping, with a severe flesh wound in the arm, which eventu- 
ally cost him the loss of that limb. The killed, according to 
Capt. Trump, were Christian Boemper, Felty Hold, Michael 
Hold, Laurence Kunckle, and four privates of his company, 
then stationed at Fort Hamilton (Stroudsburg). Andrew 
Kremser, in a letter, dated Friedensthal, January 22d, alludes 
to this sad affair, and gives the following additional informa- 
tion: ''Yesterday there came to us three men from the moun- 
tain, whose parents are here with us. They report that the 
bodies of the eight were found, and buried by the soldiers. 
Christian Boemper's body was stripped quite naked — of Cul- 
ver they knew nothing. Our dogs made a great noise every 
night 'till 12 O'clock, and run towards the island, which is very 
bushy; and not without ground, I am inclined to suspect." 
John Adam Hold, here mentioned, was a native of Hanau on 
the French border, where he was born September, 1737. He 
was taken to Bethlehem, where, on January 29th, Dr. John 


M. Otto amputated the arm. He recovered and, in January, 
1767, removed to Christian's Spring. Despite the loss of his 
arm, he was an expert axeman. He was a short, thick-set man, 
and was always accompanied by two dogs when he went to 
Nazareth. He died in 1802. 

A person, named Mulhausen, a Palatine, while breaking flax 
on the farm of Philip Bossert, in Lower Smithfield, was shot 
through the body by an unseen Indian, receiving a wound 
which, it was feared, would prove mortal. One of Bossert's 
sons running out of the house on the report of the gun, was 
shot by the enemy in several places, and soon died. Here- 
upon old Philip appeared on the scene of action, and ex- 
changed shots with one of the attacking party, striking him 
in the small of the back, a reception that sent the savage off 
"howling." He himself, however, received a flesh wound in 
the arm. At this juncture some of Bossert's neighbors came 
to the rescue, and the five remaining Indians made off. Mul- 
hausen was taken to Friedensthal Mill for treatment, at the 
hands of Dr. Otto, but the poor man was beyond help, and 
on the 3d he breathed his last. 

Although many of the Brethren had conscientious scruples 
against taking up arms in ordinary warfare, they certainly had 
none in doing so to defend themselves. On the 9th of March 
the Commander-in-Chief at the "upper places" called a Council 
of War at Friedensthal, at which it was resolved to stand 
vigilantly on the defensive, and to stockade the place. As 
there was no time to lose, timber for the piles was commenced 
to be felled on the third day after the Council, and before 
the expiration of the month, the Friedensthalers, with the as- 
sistance of the young men of Christian's Spring, had com- 
pleted the work. It enclosed the mill, the dwelling, the barn 
and the stabling over the way. 

On June 25th, 1756, Commissary Jas. Young visited this 
stockade, and reports as follows: 

"At 3 P. M. Sett out from the Wind Gap for Easton, ab't 
half way past by Nazareth Mill, Round which is a Large but 
Slight Staccade ab't 400 ft. one way, and 250 the other, with 
Logg houses at the Corners for Bastions." (Penn. Arch., ii, 
p. 68L) 


Whether this rude stockade was retained as long as those 
at Nazareth and Gnadenthal is very questionable. 

On August 24th, 1756, the shingled roof of the dwelling 
took fire from sparks from the bake oven, and had not Le- 
fevre's people lent helping hands, the entire settlement would 
probably have been laid in ashes. 

Here Eev. Keichel relates an interesting tradition given him 
by the venerable Philip Boerstler, whom he visited in the 
spring of 1871: 

'There," said Philip, "at the base of that limestone ridge 
which bounds the meadows on the south ran a trail between 
old Nazareth and Friedensthal, and on that trail one of our 
Ministering brethren, in the times of the Indian War, escaped 
with his life from the deadly aim of an Indian's rifle as by a 
miracle. It was the custom of our brethren to make the tour 
of the settlements on the tract, dispensing words of cheer or 
ghostly comfort to men whose hearts were failing them amid 
the harrowing uncertainties in which they lived. Thrice had 
the passing evangelist been marked by the lurking savage in 
his covert on the ridge, and thrice did the painted brave pass 
his fingers across the notches in his tally, which reminded 
him that there was but one scalp lacking of the needed twelve, 
to insure him a captainship in his clan. The love of glory 
fired the dusky warrior's bosom, but he hesitated to perpe- 
trate the foul deed, for in his intended victim he recognized 
the man whom he had once heard speaking words of peace and 
mercy and forgiveness, in the turreted little chapel on the 
Mahoning. But when the coveted prize was within his view 
for the fourth time, casting from him the remembrance of 
better things, and calling upon the Evil Spirit to smite him a 
paralytic, should he quail in taking aim, the frenzied Delaware 
drew a deadly bead upon his brother, and almost saw himself 
a Chieftain — when, lo! his rifle fell to the earth, and the 
brawny limbs and the keen sight lost their cunning for those 
of an impotent." "And what was the subsequent fate of this 
so marvelously thwarted savage?" I asked. "He became a con- 
vert," replied Philip, "and a helper at the mission." "And 
did you learn the evangelist's name?" I questioned, said Philip, 
"it was Fries or Grube, I believe." 


The precautions taken to secure Friedensthal from a sur- 
prise on the part of the savages were kept up unintermittingly 
until 1758. 

In the third week of March, 1757, the stewards in the "upper 
places" were cautioned to keep vigilant watch — to reset the 
shutters on the houses, and to secure the gates of the stockade 
with strong fastenings. There was certainly need of this vigi- 
lance for, on the 24th of March, the Delawares who were re- 
siding in an apartment of Nazareth Hall (then not fully com- 
pleted), reported finding, not a stone's throw from the house, 
suspended from a sapling in the woods, an Indian token 
wrought from swan's feathers, such as served to mark the 
chosen site of a rendezvous for warriors, when about to strike 
a blow. 

By this time, however, it had been decreed that the setting 
of watches might no longer be done without the Governor's 
special leave. Warden Schropp accordingly wrote Gov. Denny 
for the necessary permission, which was promptly accorded 
and six commissions to Captains of Watches, as follows : 

1st — To George Klein and John Ortleib, for Bethlehem. 
2nd — ^To Godfried Schwarz, in Christian's Brunn. 
3rd — To Abram Hessler, in Gnadenthal. 
4th — To Nicholas Shaffer, in Nazareth. 
5th — To Philip Trenston, in Friedensthal. 
6th — To Henry Fry, to be Chief Captain, or overseer, of 
Christian's Brunn, Gnadenthal, Nazareth and Friedensthal. 

In April the savages were again at work in the townships 
of Lehigh and Allen, and a petition for military protection 
presented to the Governor, in behalf of the people, by Frederic 
Altemus, James Kennedy and others. So it came to pass that 
in the first week of May, the Mill was once more filled with 
fugitives. It was one of this number who brought the sad 
intelligence that Webb's place had been burned last Sunday 
by some Indians led on by a Frenchman. Webb's wife, Abra- 
ham Miller's widow, and her son Abraham, were taken pris- 
oners. This statement was confirmed a few weeks later by 
the lad, who had affected his escape. 


On August 22d, of the same year, Warden Schropp reported 
to the Governor, "In Friedensthal Mill they all have arms, 
and are constantly on the guard and watch by turns." 

At the time Commissary Young visited the Stockade, in 
June, 1756, or, at least, in that month. Captain Inslee, Ensign 
Inslee and twenty-four men were stationed in the Mill. So 
well, however, did the Brethren care for themselves that the 
presence of soldiers in their midst was hardly at any time a 
matter of great necessity. 

With the peace of 1758 came tranquility until the outbreak 
of the savages in 1763. Once more then were the palisades 
placed in position, and again did the Brethren take up their 
arms and stand guard, only to be laid aside in a short time, 
never more to be taken up. 

On the 20th of April, 1771, the Vale of Peace passed out of 
the hands of the Moravian Brethren into that of strangers, 
being sold to Samuel Huber, of Warwick township, Lancaster 
county, for |2,000, Penn'a currency. 

About 1840 the demolition of the old mill was completed, 
no vestige of it remaining except the well in the barnyard. 

The present mill was built in 1794 by Jacob Eyerie, of Naz- 

I herewith reproduce roughly, a map of the Barony of Naz- 
areth, as it was in 1758, on which are shown Nazareth, founded 
in 1743, Gnadenthal, or Vale of Grace, founded in 1745, Chris- 
tian's Spring, founded 1748, Friedensthal, or Vale of Peace, 
founded 1749, and The Kose, founded 1752, all of which had 
their share in the events of the times, more or less of which 
have been given the reader. 

I also produce, separately, a map of Friedensthal, showing 
in detail the localities already enumerated. 

Whilst Nazareth, because of its greater size and importance, 
and the Friedensthal Mill, because of its more exposed posi- 
tion and also great importance, were especially defended and 
stockaded, and thus call for especial mention, yet a history of 
the Moravian Defences about Nazareth would be incomplete 
without further and more extended reference, besides the cas- 
ual remarks already made, to Gnadenthal, Christian's Spring 
and "The Kose" Inn, which constituted the remaining three 


settlements in the "Barony." Here I am again indebted to 
the papers of Kev. W. 0. Keichel, valuable information fur- 
nished by Jno. W. Jordan, Esq., Pennsylvania Historical So- 
ciety, and to the kind aid of Rev. Paul de Schweinitz, of Naz- 


Next in age to old Nazareth itself was Gnadenthal, founded 
as already stated, in 1745, one year after "the Nazareth Farm," 
from which it was distant two miles west by north. Nestling 
as it did, in a hollow at the foot of the ridge which traverses 
the great tract from east to west, surrounded on all sides by 
evidences of the Creator's bounty, it is well called the "Vale 
of Grace." 

In the Autumn of 1753, just prior to the times of which 
we are writing, there was a great gathering of the head men 
of the Moravian Church at Lindsey House, in the metropolitan 
suburbs of Chelsea, Kensington Division of the Hundred of 
Ossulstone, Middlesex, O. E., for the purpose of examining 
into the financial circumstances of their Society, which then 
was on the verge of disastrous bankruptcy. 

From the report on that occasion submitted by the five repre- 
sentatives of the American Province of the Brethren's Unity, 
at the head of which stood Bishop Spangenberg, we glean the 
following facts as to the composition of the Gnadenthal settle- 
ment : 


1 — A Dwelling-house with Brick walls and a tiled 
Roof, 51 feet long by 30 feet broad, two stories 
high besides the Garret Story, containeth 10 
dwelling Rooms, 2 Halls, 1 Cellar, £300 

2— A House with Brick walls, 36 feet long by 22 feet 

in Breadth, with 4 Rooms and 1 Cellar, 200 

3— A Work-shop, 10 

4 — A walled Cow-house, 72 feet long by 50 feet in 

Breadth, . 180 

5 — A Sheep-house, 10 


6— A Cow-house, 50 feet long by 20 feet broad, 25 

7— Horse Stables, 20 by 16 feet, 10 

8— A second Sheep-house 30 by 20 feet, 10 

9 — A Milk-house and a Wash-house, 10 

10— A Barn, 40 by 20 feet, 10 


All the minor buildings gradually sprang up about the main 
and central building of the plot, from the turret of whose 
red-tiled roof a bell sounded faintly down the peaceful vale, 
thrice on every day of the year, summoning its devout people 
to the services of the sanctuary. 

The outbreak of hostilities in the fall of 1755 found Gnad- 
enthal a happy and prosperous settlement. The stream of 
fugitives from the frontiers began pouring into the "Barony" 
immediately after, until, on January 29th, 1756, Gnadenthal, 
which had become literally a ''Vale of Grace," was sheltering 
52 of these sufferers within its hospitable walls. The need 
of defensive operations was at once apparent, and, on January 
22, 1756, a stockade was commenced. The date of its comple- 
tion and its appearance are not given, neither is there any 
record of its occupation by Provincial troops. It was doubt- 
less similar to that at Friedensthal, and was, unquestionably, 
guarded by its own people, assisted in time of need by detach- 
ments of the Brethren from the neighboring settlement at 
Christian's Spring. We have already seen that, in 1757, Gov- 
Denny issued, amongst others, a commission as Captain of a 
watch to Abram Hessler of Gnadenthal. During these perilous 
times the farm, or grange, was in charge of John Nicholas 
Weinland, who removed thence from "The Rose," and as- 
sumed control in 1756. Mr. Weinland and Phillippina, m. n. 
Loesch, his wife (a daughter of the patriarch George Loesch 
of Gernsheim, near Worms, in the Palatinate, who lived to be 
ninety-two years of age and to see gathered around him fifty 
grandchildren and fifty great-grandchildren) came from Thur- 
ingenland, Saxe-Meiningen. He was a musician as well as a 
farmer. It is related of him that, whilst on a visit to Beth- 
lehem, his love for music induced him to enter a hall in which 


he heard some amateur musicians rehearsing. His intrusion, 
of course, arrested their attention, but, in his rustic garb, with 
whip in hand, he sat down, in no wise disconcerted. Shortly 
after one of the performers stepped down from the platform 
to twit the countryman, but the latter was too artless to see 
the point of his jokes. On being asked, Weinland replied that 
he loved music and sometimes practiced it. This created mer- 
riment and it was at once suggested that he give them a speci- 
men of his skill. A violincello was handed him, a music stand 
placed in front of him and on it the music laid, upside down. 
However, none abashed, our worthy farmer allowed the sheet 
to remain on the stand as it had been placed there and then 
played it perfectly. 


The settlement at Christian's Spring comes next in order 
of time, to that of Gnadenthal, which it adjoins on the South- 
west, being separated from its buildings by the ridge previ- 
ously mentioned. It was begun in 1747. Here the waters of 
the Monocasy were made to turn the overshot wheel of a grist 
and saw mill, and, after the erection of dwellings and stables, 
of a smith shop and a brewery, the settlement was complete. 
Men marveled much at the quaintness of its houses, quartered 
and brick-nogged, hip-roofed and tiled; they marveled much, 
too, at the quaintness of the brotherhood, which for almost 
half a century divided its time between the management of 
the mills and the raising of horses and cattle. It was named 
Albrecht's Spring at first, subsequently, however. Christian's 
Spring, in remembrance of Christian Renatus, a son of Count 

From the same report mentioned in connection with Gnaden- 
thal I find the following details concerning the buildings which 
composed this grange: 



1 — A House of 47 feet long by 30 feet in Breadth, two 
Stories high, with 5 Rooms, 1 Hall, 1 Cellar and 

1 Fore-house, £200 

2 — A new Brick-house, 36 feet long by 28 feet, three 
Stories high, with 8 Rooms, 1 Kitchen and a Bake- 
house, 200 

3— A Smith's Shop, 40 by 21 feet, 30 

4 — A Saw-mill and Miller's house, 150 

5 — A Coal-shop and Stable, 5 

6 — A walled Brew-house with a vaulted cellar and 

Grainary, 50 by 30 feet, 230 

7 — A Cow-house of quartering and Brick-nogged, 70 x 30 

feet, 90 

8— A Barn, 75 feet long, 36 feet broad, 16 feet high, 75 


A peculiarity about Christian's Spring was the fact that 
during the interval between December, of 1749, and April, 1796, 
this farm was the seat of an Economy or of unmarried men, 
known in Moravian parlance as "The Single Brethren's Econ- 
omy at Christian's Spring." Therefore during the Indian 
depredations about nine-tenths of the inhabitants of the place 
were men, unburdened by the care and protection of wives 
or little ones. This at once placed them in a position entirely 
different from that of the other settlements. They not only 
needed no especial protection for themselves, but were always 
in a position to go to the assistance of others, which they 
cheerfully did. I can find no record of the erection of a stock- 
ade at Christian's Spring. So many of its principal buildings 
being either of stone or brick, it became only necessary to set 
a watch and provide temporary shutters for the upper win- 
dows of the main buildings to insure against any possibility 
of capture, surprise or destruction by fire. 

Here, too, the ever hospitable doors of the Brethren were 
thrown open to accommodate the refugees of January, 1756, 
of whom 48 were sheltered and cared for within them, as we 
have already seen. 



At the outbreak of hostilities Brother Nathaniel Seidel, of 
Bethlehem (afterwards a Bishop), was in command of the 
"Upper Places." He made his headquarters at Christian's 
Spring. It is related of him, on one occasion, that, as he was 
starting for Bethlehem on foot and had gone probably a mile 
from the settlement, he detected three Indians in hiding who 
were trying to capture him. Being fleet of foot, he managed 
to escape by dodging between the trees, and finally regained 
the Spring. 

It was at this place also that Zeisberger, the renowned In- 
dian missionary, finished the compilation of his well known 
Indian Dictionary — from the letter W to the end. 

The history of Christian's Spring during the Indian War 
may have been comparatively uneventful, but this, in itself, 
only adds to its lustre. Owing to the peculiar character of 
its inhabitants, it became a species of "Flying Camp," or 
rather a body of "Emergency Men." Was aid needed at Frie- 
densthal or Nazareth, it was immediately afforded by a de- 
tachment from the Spring. Did "The Rose" send an appeal 
for help, it was the men of Christian's Brunn who answered 
it. So, whenever needed and wherever needed, they were al- 
ways ready to aid. Let us accord them the praise they well 
deserve for their unselfish action. 


The youngest sister of the family was she of the beautiful 
name "Rose." Like the youngest of the house is frequently, 
so was she, different from all the others. Instead of the quiet, 
staid and matronly, so to say, settlement at Gnadenthal, Chris- 
tian's Spring, and Friedensthal, we have the rollicking, bust- 
ling and cheerful public "Inn." It was distant about 1^ miles 
north by east from old Nazareth. The story of its birth and 
existence is interesting. 

In 1751 there came orders from the head men of the Church 
in the old country for the laying out of a village on some eligi- 


ble spot within the limits of the Nazareth domain. It was to 
be like unto the Moravian village in Germany. Bishop Spang- 
enberg accordingly selected, and had surveyed into a town plot, 
a parcel of one hundred and sixty acres, adjacent to the North- 
ern boundary of the modern borough of Nazareth. The sur- 
vey was actually commenced on the third day of January, 
1752, preparations were made looking to the erection of dwell- 
ings on the opening of spring, and the name Gnadenstadt — 
''The City of Grace" — was given to the projected town. On 
January 10th Bro. Nathaniel (Seidel) escorted the masons and 
carpenters, forty hands in all, from Bethlehem to Christian's 
Spring. They were received at Nazareth with sound of trum- 
pets as a welcome. The masons were led to the stone quarry 
and the carpenters began to fell trees. At an early date a 
small log house was completed on the site of the new town, 
and then the further building of Gnadenstadt was indefinitely 
postponed. The inhabitants of Nazareth, whom it was pro- 
posed to transfer thither, were not willing to give up the 
poetry and freedom qf an Economy for the prose and restric- 
tions of a Municipium. The small log house stood vacant 
until in May, 1760, when it was occupied by John George 
Clans, a native of Alsace, and Mary Catharine, m. n. Kuehn, 
his wife. In the Autumn of 1761 Gottleib Demuth, from 
Eadelsdorf, Bohemia (sometime an inhabitant of Georgia), 
took up a lot a quarter of a mile south from the Inn and 
blocked up a house. In this way the building of Gnadenstadt 
was gradually resumed and the place grew; but in June, 1762, 
it received the name of Shoeneck, i. e. "Pretty Corner," and 
so it continued. 

One other building was originally erected, a rather imposing 
looking frame mansion of two stories, our Inn, and as it was 
the first house of entertainment for the "Tract" or "The Bar- 
ony," as it was called, its erection deserves more minute men- 

On February 2d, 1752, John Jacob Loesch and Carl Shultze, 
residents of Bethlehem, were instructed by the authorities 
"to draft an Inn or Tavern House, such as would be suitable 
to erect behind Nazareth for the conveniency of the workmen 
of Gnadenstadt and also for the entertainment of strangers, 


said house to be thirty-five by thirty feet, to be furthermore 
quartered, brick-nogged and snugly weather-boarded, with a 
yard looking North and a garden South.'^ A site for this im- 
portant accessory was selected on a tract of two hundred and 
forty-one acres of land, which had been surveyed to the Mora- 
vians some times previous by Nicholas Scull, and which touched 
the head line of the Barony. Here the Inn was staked off, 
its cellar dug deep down into the cool slate, and on March 
27th the first stone of the foundation laid by Bishop Spangen- 
berg, assisted by Warden Schropp, of Nazareth, Gottleib Pe- 
zold, of Bethlehem, and others. Although work was carried 
on as actively as possible, yet it was autumn before the cara- 
vansary was completed. It contained seven rooms, one kitchen 
and a cellar. Subsequently a stable of stone, thirty- two by 
twenty-six feet, and a spring house of logs were built. It was 
first occupied on September 15th, by John Frederic Schaub, 
a native of Zurich, Switzerland, cooper, and Divert Mary, his 
wife, who covenanted to discharge the duties of a landlord 
blamelessly in consideration of the payment unto him an- 
nually of £10, lawful money of Pennsylvania. Standing as it 
did on the great Minisink road that, since 1746, led from the 
farms and settlements dotting both shores of the Upper Dela- 
ware down to the populous portions of the Counties and to 
the great Capital itself, its portals soon opened to many a 
weary traveler, who speedily found rest and good cheer within. 
It was on August 6th, 1754, during their incumbancy, that the 
sign was charged with a full blown scarlet rose. Hence, and 
ever afterwards, the house was known as "Der Gasthof zur 
Rose"— Die Eose— THE ROSE. Rev. Reichel very pleasantly 
says, "Now this floral appellation was bestowed upon the lonely 
hospice not because its surcoat was dyed deep in Spanish red, 
not because it was hoped that in its presence the surround- 
ing wilderness of scrub-oak and stunted pines would blossom 
like the queen of flowers, but in order to keep in lively remem- 
brance a point of history — in so far as when John Penn, 
Thomas Penn and Richard Penn released to Letitia Aubrey, 
of London, their half-sister, gentlewoman, the five thousand 
acres of land that had been confirmed to his trusty friend. Sir 
John Fagg, for her sole use and behoof, by William Penn, 



Sr., late Proprietary and Chief Governor of the Province of 
Pennsylvania, by the name of William Penn, of Worminghurst, 
in the County of Sussex, Esquire, it was done on the condition 
of her yielding and paying therefor ONE RED EOSE on the 
24th day of June yearly, if the same should be demanded, in 
full for all services, customs and rents." 

Schaub, his wife and son Johnny, the first child of white 
parents born at Nazareth, bade a reluctant farewell to "The 
Rose" on August 14th, 1754. John Nicholas Weinland, his 
successor, mentioned in connection with Gnadenthal, adminis- 
tered its concerns until the 11th day of December following. 
So it came to pass that the fury of the Indian War fell upon 
its neighborhood during the incumbency of Albrecht Klotz, 
last from Tulpehocken, but a native of Hohenlohe, in the 
Lower Palatinate, blacksmith, and Ann Margaret, m. n Rieth, 
his wife, born in Scoharie, a daughter of old Michael Rieth. 
Associated with them were Christian Stotz, from Laufen, Wur- 
temburg, farmer, and Ann, m. n. Herr, his wife (they with 
three children had immigrated to the Province in 1750), last 
from Gnadenthal. They came in April, 1755, and attended to 
the farming. Joseph, a negro from the Gold Coast, who since 
March 5th, 1753, had been acting as hostler, returned to 
Bethlehem, with his Indian wife Charity, at this critical 

On November 1st, 1755, sixty thousand people perished at 
Lisbon in the great earthquake. A curious and interesting 
extract from the Moravian chronicles, over which scientists 
may puzzle if they see fit, states that in the early morning of 
the 18th of said month there was heard on the Barony, with 
a star-lit sky overhead, a sound as of a rushing wind and of 
the booming of distant siege guns, and whilst the sleepers in 
their beds at the Inn rocked, as do mariners in hammocks out 
at sea, lo ! the doors in '^The Rose" swung on their hinges and 
stood open. 

The part taken by our hostelrie in the Indian War was of a 
peculiar and two-fold nature. In the first place it was par 
excellence a "house of refuge." At the northern and most 
advanced point of the Barony and on the high road communi- 
cating with the devastated regions, it became the gateway 


which admitted the harrassed sufferer and those he loved 
to safety. On the other hand it was through this same gate 
the soldiers marched to protect their friends and repel the 
invader, and it was here they found for a while a comfortable 
resting place, either when on their way to the front or upon 
their return from the scene of hostilities. It was but seldom 
its doors did not resound to the knock of the refugee, and pos- 
sibly even less seldom they did not open to admit bodies of 
armed men. Indeed its position of importance as a public 
house and, in addition, as an outpost of the Barony, demanded 
the frequent presence of a guard. When, on rare occasions, 
it did not shelter detachments of Provincial troops, brethren 
from Christian's Spring were detailed in time of need for that 
duty. So then besides being "a house of refuge" it was indeed 
"a fort.^' 

On November 25th, 1755, upwards of sixty terrified men, 
women and children, from the districts on the north adjacent 
to the Barony, thronged through the doorway of the Moravian 
Inn, clamorous for shelter and for protection from the murder- 
ing Indians. Among them were the Clevels, from the banks 
of the romantic Bushkill, the Stechers (whose seedling apple 
is in high esteen to this day), the Germantons, the Koehlers, 
the Klaeses and the Kostenboders, all from the plains of up- 
per Northampton. By December 17th, 1755, according to an 
official enumeration, there were two hundred refugees billeted 
at Nazareth and in the Ephrata House, and one hundred at 
the other settlements on the tract. On January 29th follow- 
ing, as previously mentioned, there were 253 at Nazareth and 
196 at the other settlements, of which 226 were children. At 
this time 21 were quartered at the "Rose." It was as promis- 
cuous an assemblage as ever had been gathered in so short a 
time, embracing, as it did, men of divers nationalities and 
creeds and women of divers tongues. There were the Eisen- 
manns, the Geislys, the Hecks, the Hesses, the Heisses, the 
Heimans, the Hoffmans' the Hueds or Huths, the Kunkles, the 
Schielses, the Serfases, the Sylvases, and the Weisers, all from 
Contented valley ; the Culvers and the Jonses from McMichael's 


creek ; the Brewsters, the Countrymans, and the Hillmans, from 
Dansbury — and many others. 

Its occupation as a military post covered the interval, es- 
pecially, between November 26th, 1755, and February 20th, 
1756, a most trying period of the hostilities. On the evening 
of November 26th a company of Saucon rangers, under com- 
mand of Capt. Laubach (the Laubachs were settled, prior to 
1740, on a branch of the Saucon creek, called Laubach's creek 
to this day) halted at the Inn, lit their camp fires in the or- 
chard, and bivoucked for the night. Having scoured the 
neighboring woods next day to no purpose, on their return to 
"The Eose" there came intelligence of the enemy's presence 
in the gap in the mountain, whereupon they broke up camp 
at dusk, and, by the friendly light of the full moon, set out in 
pursuit. Meanwhile, two detachments of mounted men had 
arrived. These, however, failed to recognize any necessity for 
their presence and so, after having dined, departed. On De- 
cember 14th, Captain Jennings and Doll, at the head of their 
respective commands, passed 'The Eose" en route for the 
scene of the late disaster at Hoeth's, under orders to search 
for and bury the dead. Five days, later, on their return from 
this dangerous duty, they posted Lieut. Brown, with 18 men at 
the Inn, for the defense of the Moravian Settlements; and 
well it was they did so, for that very night there were indica- 
tions of savages lurking within gunshot of its doors. Captain 
Jennings was the same Solomon Jennings, who, at sunrise on 
September 19th, 1737, set out with Edward Marshall and 
James Yeates from John Chapman's corner at Wrightstown, 
to walk for a wager and to walk off the land for the Penns ; but 
who, on arriving at a point two miles north of the Tohickon, 
about eleven o'clock the same morning, desisted from the con- 
test. Falling back into the curious crowd that followed in the 
wake of the walkers, Jennings parted company at the Forks 
of Lehigh (at the head of the Bethlehem Iron company's 
island) and struck into the path that led to his farm, situate 
about two miles higher up on the right bank of the river. 
Here he died, February 17th, 1757. 

On December 21st, Capt. Craig, with a detachment of Ulster- 
Scots, from their seats on the Monocasy and the springs of 


Callsucks, arrived in order to assure himself of the safety of 
his Moravian neighbors, who, it was rumored, had been cut 
off by the enemy. Next followed Capt. Trump and Capt. Ash- 
ton, with their Companies of Provincials, from the seat of 
Justice in a remote corner of the county hard by the Jerseys, 
their destination being Smithfield and their errand the erec- 
tion of a blockhouse within its limits. This was on Decem- 
ber 26th, and the last movement of the military past "The 
Kose" in the year 1755. 

In the first month of 1756, however, the halls of the hos- 
telrie again echoed to the tramp of martial feet, and perhaps 
never more loudly than during the occupation of the Nazareth 
tract by Capt. Isaac Wayne, of Franklin's command, in the 
interval between January 5th and 15th. In the ensuing weeks 
there was constant intercourse between Nazareth and the men 
of war in Smithfield, detachments of Trump's men coming 
down from Fort Hamilton to convey supplies of bread, baked 
at stated periods in the large family oven on the Bareny, to 
their hungry comrades. But on February 17th our good land- 
lord, Albrecht Klotz, was perhaps more sorely tried than on 
any previous occasion, when he was obliged to billet sixty 
soldiers who were clamoring for bed and board at the al- 
ready crowded Inn. The following entries from the accounts 
of the Tavern are very interesting: 

1756— Jan'y 26— To Smithy at Christian's Spring 

for sundry work, £3 . . 3 

Feb. 5 — To meals furnished Capt. Ash- 

ton's company, 1 . . 4 

Feb. 14 — To 25 men's eating and drinking, 

'^ in command of Lieut. Anthony 

Miller, 1..10 

Feb. 18— To 31 men's breakfast of Capt. 

Trump's company, 15 . . 6 

Feb. 19 — To meals furnished Capt. Arndt's 
company, in command of En- 
sign Nicholas Conrad, 1 . . 10 

Feb. 19 — To meals and drams furnished 

Capt. Wetherhold's company, . . 15 


Feb. 23— To 700 lt)S bread delivered to 

Capt. W. Craig in Nazareth,. . . 4. . 7. .6 

March 26 — To 200 lbs bread delivered in Naz- 
areth to Capt. Wetherhold, ... 1 . . 5 

£14.. 10 

Gottleib Senseman was baker-general at Nazareth. 

After this the presence of the military at ''The Eose" be- 
came less frequent, and gradually, though not uninterrupt- 
edly, its history's stream returned into its former more peace- 
ful channel. Were it a part of this work it would be interest- 
ing to mention its remaining landlords and tell somewhat 
about them, as well as to dwell on a few of those who enjoyed 
its hospitality. The only remaining occurrence, however, 
which admits of notice was the visit on September 18th and 
19th, 1757, of Jacob Volck, Lewis Jung and three Indians who 
had been sent by Teedyuscung to Joseph Kellar's place, the 
capture of whose wife near Tead's Blockhouse on September 
16th, has been given under that head, to see if any of his liege 
subjects were implicated in that outrage. This was under 
the incumbency of Hartmann Verdriers, the fifth landlord, 
and his wife Catharine, m. n. Bender, who occupied it August 
20th, 1756. 

After various further alarms and guard mountings, various 
visits of Indians and authorities of the Province during the 
efforts made to bring about a treaty of peace, and various vicis- 
situdes, incident to all similar buildings, it finally came into 
the hands of its last landlord, John Lischer, who, with his 
wife, Mary Catharine, administered its affairs from April 20th, 
1765, until March 30th, 1772. With his retirement it ceased 
to be an inn, having been sold in 1771 to Dorst Alteman, a 
native of the Canton of Berne, Switzerland, but prior to 1761 
an inhabitant of Lancaster county. It then passed through 
various hands until the spring of 1858, when the old hostelrie 
was doomed to destruction. Its chimneys were torn down, 
its roof was removed, its floors torn up. Some of the boards 
which survived the wreck were used to cover the gables of the 
tenant house which then stood on its site. Kev. Reichel says 











they were "the sole remaining, but alas ! withered leaves shed 
from the Bed Kose that once bloomed on the Barony of Naza- 


Already in the course of these records we have come across 
the name "Minisink." We have now reached the Delaware 
river, in the vicinity of the present town of Stroudsburg, not 
then, however, in existence. It was this territory which the 
Minisink, or Mousey tribe of Indians occupied, from whom it 
derived its name, a name later adopted by the Dutch who first 
settled there, and in common use at the time of the Indian 

In the history of Fort Norris we read of the murder of the 
Hoeth family in the early part of December, 1775. This family 
lived on the Poco Poco, or, as now called. Big creek, not far 
distant from where that fort was built shortly after. From 
thence the savages proceeded to Brodhead's place where they 
met with a stout resistance. This family lived on or near 
the creek now bearing their name, probably not far from its 
mouth and in the general vicinity of where Stroudsburg now 

These were the first depredations committed in that locality. 
At once all was alarm and every heart stricken with terror. 
The country was immediately filled with settlers fleeing for 
refuge to the more thickly populated districts south of the 

James Hamilton and Benj. Franklin, the commissioners ap- 
pointed by the Governor to systematize the defences of this part 
of the Province, arrived at Easton on December 23d. The 
following letter written by the former to Governor Morris 
well describes the lamentable condition of affairs : 

Easton, Monday Evening, Dec'r 25, 1755. 
Dear Sir : 

The Commissioners came to this Town on Saturday Even- 
ing, where we found the Country under the greatest Conster- 


nation, everything that has been said of the distress of the 
Inhabitants, more than verified upon our own view. The 
Country along the River is absolutely deserted from this 
place to Broadhead's, nor can there be the least communica- 
tion between us and them but by large Parties of armed Men, 
every body being afraid to venture without that security, so 
that we have had no accounts from thence for several days. 
Broadhead's was stoutly defended by his sons and others, till 
the Indians thought fit to retire without being able to take 
it, or set it on fire, tho' they frequently attempted it, it is 
thought several of them were killed in the attacks, but that is 
not known with certainty. 

We have now here upward of 100 men, being the Companies 
of Capt'n Aston, Captain Trump, and Capt'n McGlaughlin, 
and are impatiently expecting more from below, for the people 
here are not very numerous, & are besides very backward in 
entering into the Service, tho' the Encouragement is great, 
and one would think they would gladly embrace the oppor- 
tunity of revenging themselves on the authors of their ruin; 
but the terror that has seized them^ is so great, or their Spirits 
so small, that unless men come from other parts of the Prov- 
ince I despair of getting such a number here as will be sufficient 
to Garrison the Block Houses we propose to build over the 
Hills, whither we intended to have gone tomorrow, but that 
our Provision Waggons are not come up, and that we have not 
men enough for the above mentioned purposes. 

I understand that Aaron Dupui is still at home & that it 
is very unlikely that he will be able to leave his House in this 
time of Distress, to carry your Message to Wyoming, so that 
I believe the Expectations of the Treaty will fall to the Ground, 
nor does any body either here or there believe we have a 
single Indian that may be called a Friend, nor do I see a pos- 
sibility of getting that Message conveyed to them from hence, 
even supposing they were friends; everybody is so afraid of 
stirring a step without a strong guard. 

I heartily wish you were at Liberty to declare Warr against 
them, and ofi'er large rewards for Scalps, which appears the 
only way to clear our Frontiers of those Savages, & will, I am 
persuaded be infinitely cheapest in the end ; For I clearly fore- 


see the expense of defending ourselves, in, the way we are in 
will ruin the province, and be far from effectual, at last, princi- 
pally for want of a Good Militia Law by which the men might 
be subjected to discipline, for at present they enter themselves 
and then leave their Captains at their own humour, without 
a person in the officers to punish them for that or any other 

I have Commissioned several Captains here, who engage to 
raise men, but principally two, who have undertaken to range 
the Country between the two Branches of this Kiver, for the 
Security of the two Irish Settlements in hopes that those who 
had defected by the whole of those on the main Branch, may 
be induced to return to their Plantations, which after all I 
very much question, so very great are their apprehensions of 
the Indians. 

I cannot say for certain when we shall leave this place, that 
depending on the coming up of the Provisions and our getting 
a sufficient number of men; Many of those already here not 
being able to march for want of shoes, which has obliged us to 
send down for a Supply to Philadelphia. 

I have but a moments time to write, the Express being 
ready to depart. I shall from time to time, keep you informed 
of anything that may be worth your notice, but at present 
nothing offers. 

I am, with great Eespect, Sir, Your most obed't Servant, 

(Col. Kec, vi, p. 764). JAMES HAMILTON. 

We can readily imagine how little of Christmas joy and 
festivity fell to the lot of the good people of Northampton 
county in the year of our Lord 1755. Chaos reigned almost 
supreme. The Governor was nearly deluged with advice, 
much of it good, but which, unfortunately, could not be carried 
out. Some progress, however, was made by the Commissioners. 
Mr. Hamilton seems to have given special attention to the 
defences on the Delaware at the Minisinks, which were the 
first undertaken, possibly because there the first blow of the 
enemy had fallen. Immediately after his letter to the Gov- 
ernor on Christmas, Captains Trump and Ashton were dis- 
patched to the place where Stroudsburg now stands and di- 


reeled to erect the first of the line of forts then contemplated. 
The work, however, progressed slowly, partly because of a 
lack of tools which the people in the neighborhood failed to 
supply as had been expected, and partly because of the sea- 
son of the year. On January 14th, 1756, Benj. Franklin writes 
to the Governor from Bethlehem, ''The day after my arrival 
here I sent off two wagons loaded with bread and some axes 
for Trump and Aston." These were escorted to Nazareth 
by Lieut. Davis and 20 men of McLaughlin's Company, where 
Capt. Wayne, with his fresh troops took charge of the con- 
voy and escorted it to its destination. Capt. Wayne later re- 
ported to Franklin that Capt. Trump expected to finish his 
work about the 20th of January. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 549). 
Whether completed exactly on the day named or not we can- 
not say, but we can confidently give it as the approximate 
time when this first defence was finished. It was named 
Fort Hamilton after our friend James Hamilton, actively con- 
nected with its erection and later Governor of the Province, 
succeeding Governor Denny as such, his commission being 
dated July 19, 1759, although not presented by him. to Coun- 
cil until November 17th of the same year. 

The enemy were constantly on the alert, and, even during 
the building of the fort, the soldiers had not only the season 
to contend against, but the savages as well. On January 15th 
a company of refugees at Bethlehem returned across the moun- 
tain to look after their farms and cattle. Although escorted 
by soldiers, they fell into the hands of the Indians near 
Schupp's Mill and all suffered death save one, Adam Hold, 
who escaped with a severe flesh wound in the arm. The 
killed numbered four farmers and four privates of Capt. 
Trump's company at Fort Hamilton. About the same time 
one Mulhausen, a Palatine, while breaking flax on the farm of 
Philip Bossert in Lower Smithfield, was shot through the body 
by an unseen Indian, which wound proved fatal. One of Bos- 
sert's sons running out of the house on hearing the report of 
the gun, was also shot in several places and killed. Hereupon 
old Philip, himself, appearing on the scene of action exchanged 
shots with the enemy, inflicting and receiving a wound, but 


might not have escaped so easily but for the timely arrival 
of some neighbors and consequent retreat of the enemy. 

It was not intended that Capt. Trump should remain per- 
manently at Fort Hamilton, and, upon its completion, we find 
that he is ordered to commence the erection of Fort Norris. 
He appears to have been succeeded by Capt. Craig, of the Irish 
Settlement, who is reported on duty April 20th, 1756, at Fort 
Hamilton, with 41 men. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 325 — date incor- 
rectly given 1758). 

Commissary James Young, whilst inspecting the forts in 
that same year, makes the following report concerning Fort 
Hamilton : 

June 23 — 1756 — At 3 P. M. we sett out from Fort Noris on 
our way to Fort Hamilton. At 6 P. M. we came to Philip 
Bosarts a Farmer, 12 miles from Fort Noris, here we Stayed 
all Mght, on our way to this house the road very hilly and 
Barran, past by three Plantations Deserted and the houses 
Burnt down, in Bossart's house are 6 Families from other 

24 June, Fort Hamilton. — At 4 A. M. sett out from Bosarts, 
at 6 Came to Fort Hamilton at ab't 7 miles from Bosarts, a 
Good Waggon road, and the Land better than any I had seen 
on the Wo side of the Mountain. Fort Hamilton stands in 
a Corn field by a Farm house in a Plain and Clear Country, it 
is a Square with 4 half Bastions all very 111 Contriv'd and fin- 
ish'd, the Staccades open 6 inches in many Places, and not 
firm in the ground, and may be easily pull'cl down, before the 
gate are some Staccades drove in the Ground to Cover it which 
I think might be a great Shelter to an Enemy, I therefore or- 
der'd to pull them down, I also order'd to fill up the other Stac- 
cades where open. Provincial Stores: 1 Wall Piece, 14 G'd 
Muskets, 4 wants Kepair, 16 Cartooch Boxes, filled with Pow- 
der and Lead, 28 lb Powder, 30 lb Lead, 10 Axes, 1 Broad Axe, 
26 Tomahauks, 28 Blankets, 3 Drawing Knives, 3 Splitting 
Knives, 2 Adses, 2 Saws, 1 Brass Kettle. 

I found here a Lieu't and Eight men, 7 were gone to Easton 
with a Prisoner Deserter from Gen. Shirley's Keg't. (Penn. 
Arch., ii, p. 679). 

The corn field in which Fort Hamilton then stood is now in 


the western section of the town of Stroudsburg. Through the 
kindness of Eev. Theo. Heilig, an old resident of that place, 
who lived in the Stroud mansion, I am now able to furnish 
herewith the map showing its exact location. 

Fort Hamilton was not considered a post of especial im- 
portance. Whilst it is true, geographically considered, its po- 
sition was most important, yet it actually stood in a more or 
less sparsely settled district. The sudden outbreak of hostili- 
ties in that vicinity caused an excitement which resulted not 
only in its immediate erection, but also in the building of Fort 
Hyndshaw but a few miles distant, as well as the occupation 
by a garrison of Dupui's house, likewise in its immediate vi- 
cinity. As the necessity for this extra force and precaution 
passed away, to a great extent, so we see a curtailment in the 
number of troops on duty. How long Capt. Craig remained 
there we do not know. There are no records to indicate 
whether he had command of Fort Hamilton in the beginning 
of April, 1757, or whether Capt. Nicholas Wetterholt had then 
charge of it. We are merely told by Major Parsons that, on 
October 11th, 1756, he sent to that garrison 50 lbs of powder 
and 100 lbs of lead. However, we learn from the journal of 
Capt. John Van Etten (to be given in full under Fort Hynd- 
shaw) , who had then command of Fort Hyndshaw, that he was 
in addition to assume control of Fort Hamilton. His orders, 
from Col. Weiser, were dated March 28, 1757, and received 
by him April 7th. In accordance therewith, on April 8th he 
took possession with a detachment of 16 men, the company 
then occupying it marching out and leaving it in his care. 
His diary continues until July 22, 1757, at which time the same 
condition of affairs exists, although for a while matters got 
somewhat mixed up owing to the fact that both the Governor 
and Col. Weiser had issued orders of diverse nature on the 
same point, whereby Lieut. Hyndshaw, then of Capt. Nicho- 
las Wetterholt's company, claimed command of Fort Hamil- 
ton. A personal visit of Col. Weiser, however, straightened 
out the tangled skein and left Capt. Van Etten in charge. 

With the entry of July 21st, 1757, Capt. Van Etten's journal 
ends somewhat abruptly. Whether the remainder has been 
lost, or whether a change of some character took place it is 


difficult to say. I am inclined to believe the latter and that 
Capt. Van Etten left the service, as we hear nothing more of 
him until in the Kevolutionary war when he commanded a 
company of the Northampton county militia, and also because 
on October 11th, 1757, we find a letter from Lieut. James 
Hyndshaw to Gov. Denny, probably written from Fort Hamil- 
ton, in which he says, ''I beg leave to Acquaint your Honour 
I have now in my Company Seventy-two Men, Several of which 
is yet on the one Year's Enlistment, and of the Company of the 
late Capt. Van Etten, and many of them has had no pay this 
Ten Months, and several of them not fit for the three Years' 
Enlistment, and to discharge them without paying them off 
seemeth hard." 

He then goes on to explain the insufficiency of their sup- 
plies, the daily depredations of the savages, &c., and asks for 
better equipment. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 290). 

Gradually the fort seems to have become abandoned. James 
Burd turned aside to look at it during his tour of March, 1758. 
He says: 

March 2'd, Thursday. 

Marched from hence (Teed's Block House near Wind Gap) 
at 9 A. M. for Mr. Samuell Depews, went by the way of Fort 
Hamilton to view that place, arrived at Fort Hamilton at 2 
P. M., viewed it and found it a very poor stockade, with one 
large house in the middle of it & some familys living in it. 
This is 15 miles from Tead's. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 356). 

At various times different plans were formulated for conduct- 
ing the war and bringing it to a speedy termination. It had 
long been felt that the troops were too much scattered, and 
that too many insignificant stations and buildings were occu- 
pied by small garrisons. In April, 1757, it was therefore de- 
termined to concentrate the soldiers. Three forts were geo- 
graphically selected as principal stations, — Fort Henry be- 
tween the Susquehanna and Schuylkill, Fort Allen on the 
Lehigh, and Fort Hamilton near the Delaware at the extreme 
eastern point. It was proposed to garrison each of these with 
one hundred men and abandon the remainder. The other troops 


were then to wage aggressive warfare against the enemy. This 
program, however excellent, could not be carried out. Had 
it been, Fort Hamilton might have occupied a more prominent 
niche in the early history of our State. 

When the Delaware tribe, following the example of their 
other brethren, threw their lot in with the French, the Indians 
living at the Minisinks joined the other hostiles who were 
rendezvousing on the Susquehanna. From thence, Diahogo, 
Wyoming, «&c., constant inroads were made on the settlements 
by scalping parties, varying in size from four or five to fifteen 
or twenty. Naturally those living near by were the greatest 
sufferers, and we have been given some slight idea of the hor- 
rible depredations committed in Lebanon, Berks and Lehigh 
counties. Northampton county, however, was by no means 
exempt, and various bands of savages penetrated the country 
north of the Blue mountains even to the Delaware river. 
Therefore, as an outpost to protect the thickly populated re- 
gions to the south, as well as the farmers residing in its vi- 
cinity. Fort Hamilton was of great importance. 

Naturally the Minisink Indians headed for their own locality 
and, as we have already seen, the first blow struck was against 
the Hoeth and Broadhead families, living not distant from 
where Forts Norris and Hamilton were afterwards built. 

This was speedily followed by an attack on the house of 
Henry Hess, the following details of which are given in an 
examination of Henry Hess, a nephew, aged nineteen years, who 
was brought back by the Indians during the Conference at 
Easton in November, 1756 : 

"This Examinant saith that on New Years day last (1756) 
he was at his Unckles, Henry Hess's Plantation in the said 
Township of Lower Smithfield, and that his Father, Peter 
Hess, Nicholas Coleman, and one Gotlieb, a laborer, were 
there likewise. That about nine o'clock in the morning they 
were surprised by a party of Twenty-five Indians, headed by 
Teedyuscung, among whom were several of those now in Town 
[at the Conference, Nov'r, 1756, at Easton] viz, Peter Harrison, 
Samuel Evans, Christian, Tom Evans, that they killed the said 
Nicholas Coleman and Gotlieb, and took his Father & him- 


self Prisoners, set fire to the Stable, hunted up the horses and 
took three of them. Then the Indians went over the second 
Blue Mountains, and overtook five Indians with two Prisoners, 
Leonard and William Weeser [see testimony of Leonard Wee- 
ser under Fort Allen], and a little after this they killed this 
Examinant's Father, Peter Hess, in his presence, scalped him 
and took off all his cloaths. The Indians who were thirty in 
number in ye evening before it was dark, stopped & kindled 
a Fire in the woods, first tying him and the two Weesers with 
ropes and fastening them to a tree, in which manner they re- 
mained all night, Tho' it was extremely cold, the coldest night 
as He thinks in this whole year. Some or other of the Indians 
were awake all night, it being as they said too cold to sleep. 
They seemed to be under no apprehension of being pursued, 
for they set no watch. As soon as day broke they set off 
traveling but slowly, and the next day they came to Wyomish, 
an Indian town on the Susquehanna, and finding no Indians 
there, this Examinant understanding afterwards that the In- 
dians who used to live there had removed to Taconnich for 
fear of being attacked, they proceeded on their journey & came 
the next day to the Town where were about one hundred 
Indians, men, women & children. This Examinant further 
saith, that after the severe weather was abated, all the Indians 
quitted Taconnich and removed to Diahogo, distant as he 
thinks fifty miles, situate at the mouth of the Cayuga Branch, 
where they staid till Planting time, and then some of them went 
to a place up the Cayuga Branch near its head, called Little 
Shingle, where they planted corn, and lived there till they 
set off for this Treaty. During this Examinants stay with 
them small parties of five or six Warriors went to War, and 
returned with some Scalps & Prisoners which they said they 
had taken at Allemingle and Minisinks. This Examinant says 
further that they would frequently say in their discourses all 
the country of Pennsylvania did belong to them, & the Gover- 
nors were always buying their lands from them but did not 
pay them for it. That Teedyuscung was frequently in conver- 
sation with a negro man a Runaway, whose Master lived some 
where above Samuel Depuys, and he overheard Teedyuscung 
adivising him to go among the Inhabitants, & talk with the 


negros, & persuade them to kill their Masters which if they 
would do he would be in the woods ready to receive any negros 
y't would murder their Masters & they might live well with the 
Indians. This Examinant saith, that he saw some English 
Prisoners at different places up the Cayuga Branch, and par- 
ti<!ularly one Hunt, a Boy, as he thinks, of fifteen or sixteen 
years, who was taken near Paulins Kiln in Jersey, that he had 
not seen him after Teedyuscung's Eeturn to Diahogo on his 
first journey.'' 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 56). mark 

In August, 1756, Major Parsons notified Gov'r Morris that 
Ben, a friendly Indian, had discovered the tracks of about 20 
strange Indians coming from the Susquehannah and going to- 
wards Minisinks, who were evidently on a hostile errand from 
the manner of their marching. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 746). 

On November 30, 1756, in the evening, Ephraim Coulver, a 
tavern-keeper opposite Bethlehem, notified Timothy Horsfield 
that Nicodemus, a friendly Indian, had informed him that a 
young Indian, who was at the tavern, had something very par- 
ticular to say concerning the Indians where he came from. 
He was at once summoned the next day, and gave the follow- 
ing testimony: 

"Akoan, a Mahikander, says that he went in Company with 
Three other Indians to Wyoming, and stay'd there one Day; 
he says further that he heard some Indians on the Susque- 
hannah were starved to Death for want of Victuals, and he 
thought, what shall I do there; I will return again to the 
white People; accordingly he returned alone; about half way 
from Wyoming to Fort Allen, he met with Four Shawanese 
Indians, who related to him that Armstrong, the Indian, with 
Five other Indians, was gone to the left Hand, from there 
towards the little Schuylkill, to kill the White People, and 
that also Four Minisink Indians were gone towards Broad- 
head's or Minisink, all painted, and white Feathers on their 
Heads. The same Day, in the Evening, he came to Nathaniel's 
hunting Hutt, about sixteen miles from Fort Allen; there 


he found an Indian sitting at a Fire; the Indian gave him 
some Flower, and said, 'bake thee Bread and eat!' When 
Akoan had made his Bread, there came Six Indians, dressed 
in their Warlike Manner, that was Armstrong and his Com- 
pany; they placed themselves round the Fire, and Akoan gave 
them share of his Bread ; one of the Six Indians, a Shawanese, 
opened his Bundle and gave Akoan a Piece of Tallow, and on 
being asked where he got it, the Indian told him they had 
killed a Cow near Fort Allen, and also a Horse, because they 
could not catch it, and he shewed him the Bell the Horse had 

After a while the same Indian said to Akoan, We have been 
at the Little Schuylkill, about the White People, to do some 
Mischief, but the snow (it was half Leg deep at that Place) has 
hindered us, being afraid to be discovered, therefore we will 
go to the Minisink Town on the Susquehannah and secure our 
goods, and then we will return to the Inhabitants about the 
Wind Gap and Minisink, and get Six or Seven Scalps, and if 
possible, take some alive, and therewith we will go to the 
French and rejoice them with the Scalps, and will stay awhile 
with them. 

These Indians would fain have had Akoan go with them but 
he would not." (Col. Eec, vii, p. 357.) 

After the threatening alarms came the dread reality. In 
April, 1757, the Indians made another inroad on the Minisink 
region, and left behind them, when they fled, the usual trail 
of blood and scenes of misery. But we will leave the recital 
of the tragedy to an eye witness. 

Deposition of Michael Roup. 

The 24th day of April, one thousand, seven Hundred and 
Fifty Seven, appeared before me, William Parsons, Esquire, 
one of His Majestys Justices of the Peace for the County of 
Northampton, Michael Roup, of Lower Smithfield, in the said 
County, aged 52 Years, a Person to me well known and worthy 
of Credit, and being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of 
Almighty God, did depose and declare. That His Neighbour, 
Philip Bozart, being at Fort Norris last Saturday week, heard 



a letter read there, which was dispatched by Major Parsons to 
acquaint the Garrison that he had receiv'd Information that 
some Enemy Indians intended shortly to come and attack the 
Inhabitants at and about Minisink and to desire them to be 
upon their Guard; which was soon made known to all the 
Neighboring Inhabitants. And this Deponent further saith, 
That on Friday Morning last John Lefever, passing by the 
Houses of Philip Bozart and this Deponent, informed them 
that the Indians had murder'd Casper Gundryman last Wed- 
nesday Evening; Whereupon This Deponent went immediately 
to the House of Philip Bozart to consult what was best to be 
done, Their House being about half a Mile apart. That they 
concluded it best for the Neighbors to collect themselves to- 
gether, as many as they could in some one House. And this 
Deponant further saith, that he immediately returned home 
and loaded his Waggon as fast as he cou'd Avith his most valu- 
able Etfects which he carried to Bozart's house. That as soon 
as he had unloaded his Waggon he drove to his Son-in-Law 
Peter Soan's House, about two Miles, and loaded as much 
of his Effects as the Time and hurry wou'd admit, and took 
them also to Bozart's, where 9 families were retired; That a 
great Number of the Inhabitants were also retired to the 
Houses of Conrad Bittenbender & John McDowel; That Bo- 
zart's House is 7 Miles from Fort Hamilton and 12 from Fort 
Norris. x4nd this Deponent further saith, that yesterday 
Morning about 9 o'clock, the said Peter Soan and Christian 
Klein with his Daughter about 13 Years of age went from 
Bozart's House to the House of the said Klein and thence to 
Soan's House to look after their Cattle and to bring off more 
effects. And this Deponent further saith. That about a half 
an hour after the above 3 Persons were gone from Bozart's 
House, a certain George Hartlieb, who also fled with his fam- 
ily to Bozart's and who had been at his own House about a 
Mile from Soan's, to look after his Creatures and to bring 
away what he cou'd, return'd to Bozart's and reported that he 
had heard 3 guns fired very quick one after the other to- 
wards Soan's Place w'ch made them all conclude the above 
3 Persons were killed by the Indians. And this Deponent fur- 
ther saith, That their little Company were afraid to venture 


to go and see what had happened that Day, as they had many 
Women and Children to take Care of, who if they had left 
might have fallen an easy Prey to the enemy. And this De- 
ponent further saith, That this Morning 9 Men of the Neigh- 
borhood armed themselves, as well as they co'd, and went to- 
wards Peter Soan's Place, in order to discover what was be- 
come of the above 3 Persons. That when they came within 
about 300 yards of the House, they found the Bodies of the 
said Soan and Klein lying about 20 Feet from each other, 
killed and scalpt, but did not find Klein's Daughter. Soan 
was killed by a Bullet which enter'd the upper Part of his 
Back and came out at his Breast. Klein was killed with 
their tomahawks. The 9 men immediately returned to Bo- 
zart's and reported as above. That this Deponent was not 
one of the 9, but that he remained at Bozart's with the Women 
and Children. That the rest of the People desired this De- 
ponent to come to Easton and acquaint the Justice with what 
had happened. That the 9 men did not think it safe to stay 
to bury the Dead. And further this Deponent saith not. 

The mark of 
(Col. Kec, vii, p. 493.) MICHAEL W KOUP. 

In the above deposition mention was made of the murder of 
Casper Gundryman. The name undoubtedly was intended for 
Andreas Gundryman, of whose death John Williamson gives 
this account. 

Deposition of John Williamson. 

On the Twenty-Second Day of April A'o D'i 1757, Personally 
appeared before me, William Parsons, Esquire, one of his Ma- 
jesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Northampton, 
John Williamson of Lower Smithfield Township, in the said 
County, Yoeman, aged 48 Years, And being duly Sworn on the 
holy Evangelists of Almighty God, did Depose and Declare, 
•That on Wednesday last, the 20th Instant, about Sun Sett, a 
certain Andreas Gundrjanan, Youth about 17 Years of Age, 
went with two Horses and a Sleigh to fetch some Fire Wood, 
that lay about 80 percehs from Fort Hamilton, to his Father's 


House, ab't 10 perches from the Fort. That while the Young 
Man was out as aforesaid, He this Deponent and Several 
other Persons, who all live about 10 perches from the Fort, 
heard two Guns fired; Whereupon, Henry Gundryman (Father 
of the above named Andreas) and Conrad Friedenberg, one of 
the Garrison at Fort Hamilton, ran immediately upon hearing 
the Fireing towards the Place where Andreas was gone for 
the Fire Wood; some of the Soldiers and other Persons hear- 
ing him cry out, and seeing him run down the Hill towards 
the Fort. And this Dep't further saith, that about 300 Yards 
from this Fort, they found the said Andreas Gundryman lying 
dead, and scalp'd quite to the Eyes. And this Deponent fur- 
ther saith that he saw two Indians run up the Hill, from the 
place where Andreas lay dead. That the Indians did not hitt 
him with their Shott but as soon as they fired Andreas ran, 
and they pursued him with their Tomhocks and murdered 
him very barbarously, and as they went off sett up the Indian 
War Hallow. And this Deponent further saith, that early on 
the next Morning the Father of the Deceased, with James Gar- 
lanhouse and one of the Soldiers, went and fetch'd the Corps, 
and the Garrison and Neighbors hurried it about 30 perches 
from the Fort. And this Deponant further saith, that a cer- 
tain Isaac Kandolph, a Soldier, being sent the same Evening 
the Murder was committed to Acquaint Capt. Van Etten, at 
Fort Hyndshaw, of what had happened, return'd to Fort Ham- 
ilton and reported that in his Way he had seen 6 Indians by 
a Fire, & ab't half way to Samuel Dupui's, which made him 
afraid to proceed further, and therefore he returned and re- 
ported as above. And this Deponant further saith, that he 
this Deponant that same Night went up to Fort Hyndshaw 
and acquainted Capt. Van Eetten of what had happened, but 
saw no Indians in his Journey. And this Dep't further saith, 
that the said Kobert Ellis came to Fort Hamilton on Thursday 
Morning, and reported that he had seen 3 Indians that same 
Morning by a Fire on his Plantation, And when the Indians 
discovered him they left the Fire and went up a Hill. And 
this Deponant further saith, that Cap't Van Etten came on 
Thursday Morning with as many Soldiers as could be spared 


from Fort Hyndshaw to Fort Hamilton and assisted at the 
Burial. And this Deponant further saith not. 

Sworn at Easton, in the County of Northampton, the Day 
and Year above s'd. 
Before me, 

W'M PARSONS. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 139.) 

Captain Van Etten, with his weakened and divided forces, 
the responsibility of guarding two forts resting upon him, 
was certainly in a quandary. He immediately reported the 
sad occurrence to Major Parsons as follows : 

Worthy Friend, 

I am Sorry to Inform you of What happened Sins I Sa you 
Last on the 20 Day of this Instant, after I came to Fort Ham- 
elton, about two o'Clock, & as I made all the hast I Could to 
Fort Hyndshaw, about one o'Clock at Night an Express Came 
to me that a man Was Kiled and Scalped at Fort Hamelton, 
which I found to be tru, & had the man buried the 21 of this 
Instant; pray, Sir, Consider my affairs as I am but Weake 
Now & all the Neighbours about the fort is monted in the 
fort,, Which I Compel'd to Stan Sentriey Next the Soldiers, 
tel further orders ; pray, Sir, Excuse hast. 

Sir, I Eemain your 

friend and humble 
Servant, Sir, 
Fort Hamelton, 21 Apr., 1757. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 139.) 

Unfortunately this did not end the tragic chapter of depre- 
dations committed by the party of Indians then on their scalp- 
ing expedition. On June 27th, 1757, George Ebert made the 
following deposition before Squire and also Major Parsons, 
at Easton : 

"Personally appeared before me, William Parsons, one of 
His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of North- 
ampton, George Ebert (Son of John Ebert, late of Plainfield 
Township, in the said County, Yoeman, but now of Easton in 
the same County), aged Sixteen Years, and being duly sworn 


on the holy Evangelist of Almighty God, deposeth and declareth 
That on or about the Second Day of May last, He, this Depon- 
ant, with about Eighteen armed men, went with Two Waggons 
from Plainfield Township, to assist the Inhabitants of Lower 
Smithfield, who had a few days before been attacked by the 
Enemy Indians (and some of the Neighborhood murdered by 
the Savages) to bring off some of their best Effects. That 
about Noon of the same Day, they came to the House of Con- 
rad Bittenbender, to which house divers of the Neighbours 
had fled; here one of the Waggons with about Ten Men, with 
this Deponant, halted to load their Waggon with the poor 
People's Effects; and the rest of the Company with the other 
Waggon went forward about a Mile, to the House of Philip 
Bozart, to which place others of the Neighbours had also fled, 
with such of their Effects as they cou'd in their Confusion 
carry there. That this Deponant and Conrad Bittenbender, 
Peter Sheaffer, John Nolf, Jacob Both, Michael Kierster a 
certain Klein And one man more (whose name this Deponant 
hath forgot) went about Two Miles into the Woods to seek the 
Neighbour's Horses, whereof they found Six, And were return- 
ing with them to within half a mile of Bittenbender's House 
where they were attacked by Fifteen French Indians who 
fired upon them & killed Bittenbender, Jacob Both, and John 
Nolf, as he believes, for that he saw Three fall, one dead. And 
took Peter Sheaffer, who received two flesh Shots, One in his 
Arm and the other on the Shoulder, and this Deponant Prison- 
ers; This Deponant received no Shot. And this Deponant 
further sayeth, That the Indians frequently talked French to- 
gether; That they set off immediately with their Prisoners; 
That on the Evening of the next Day they fell in with another 
Company of about Twenty four Indians who had Abram Mil- 
ler, with his Mother, and Adam Snell's Daughter, Prisoners; 
The Indians with their Prisoners marched in Parties as far as 
Diahogo ; That at this Place the Indians separated, and about 
Eight, the foremost, took this Deponant and Abraham Miller 
with them, and they never saw any of the other Prisoners 
afterwards; That in their way on this Side of Diahogo they 
saw Klein's Daughter, who had been taken Prisoner about a 
Week before this Deponant was taken; That a Day's Journey 


beyond Diahogo, tliey came to some French Indian Oabbins, 
where they saw another Prisoner, a girl about Eight or Nine 
Years old, who told this Deponant that her Name was Cath- 
arine Yager, that her Father was a Lock Smith and lived at 
AUemengle, And that she had been a Prisoner ever since 
Christmas; That at this Place the Indians loosed the Prisoners, 
this Deponant and Abraham Miller, who they had bound every 
Night before; That finding themselves at Liberty, they, this 
Deponant & Abraham Miller, made their Escape in the night, 
and the next Day afternoon they came to French Margaret's 
at Diahogo, having been Prisoners Nine Days ; That they stayed 
about four weeks with her, during all which Time she con- 
cealed them and supported them; That some French Indians 
came in Search of the Prisoners, whereupon Margaret told 
them it was not safe for them to stay longer, and advised them 
to make the best of their Way homewards; That all the In- 
dians at and on this side Diahogo were very kind to them, 
and help'd and directed them on their way; John Cook was 
particularly helpfull to them; That while they were at Dia- 
hogo they were informed that the Indians had killed Abraham 
Miller's Mother, who was not able to travel further, And 
J. Snell's Daughter, who had received a Wound in her Leg 
by a Fall when they first took her Prisoner, but they heard 
nothing of Peter Sheaff er ; That in Three Days they arrived at 
Wyoming, by Water, as Margaret had advised them; That at 
Wyoming the Indians directed them the Way to Fort Allen, 
but they missed their Way and came the road to Fort Hamil- 
ton, where they arrived last Sunday week. And this Deponant 
further sayeth, that the friendly Indians told them that the 
Enemy had killed Marshall's Wife at the first Mountain, And 
further this Deponant sayeth not." 

The mark of 
N. B. — This Deponant saith that they understood by the 
French Indians That the'd Three Days further to go from the 
Place from whence They escaped. 

At the same time the above deposition was read before 


Council, another letter from Major Parsons, of June 26 th, was 
presented giving an account of the attack on Brodhead's 
house, about a mile from and in sight of Fort Hamilton, which 
they burnt. At the same time they killed and scalped one 
Tidd besides destroying a number of animals. (Col. Rec, vii, 
p. 620.) 

Besides these murders ''It is said that two soldiers of the 
garrison (Fort Hamilton) walking among the scrub oaks on 
the brow of the hill where the academy now stands (1845) were 
killed by a party of Indians in ambuscade." (Rupp — History 
Monroe County, p. 152.) 

It can hardly be a matter of surprise to learn that the people 
in the vicinity of Fort Hamilton became very much alarmed. 
They realized that the Government was not affording them 
sufficient protection, and that the troops already on the ground 
were too few in number with too much territory to cover. 
Hence their appeal for aid, and the following petition to 
Governor Denny immediately after the circumstances just 

"The Petition of the few remaining Inhabitants of the Town- 
ship of Lower Smithfield, in the County of Northampton, and 
in the Province of Pennsylvania : 

That the Scituation of the Petitioners being part of the Fron- 
tiers of the Province have for some time past suffered many 
and great Difficulties by the Excursions of the Savages, untill 
your Hon'rs accession to this Province, and the Treaty held 
with the Indians at Easton, which afforded the prospect of a 
Peace, and gave your Petitioners encouragement to return 
to their Farms, in order to Plant and to Support their Dis- 
tressed Familys in a peacable manner; But so it has hap- 
pened, and please your Honour, to our inexpressible surprise, 
these perfidious murderers have renewed their Barbarities by 
killing. Scalping, and Captivating the Inhabitants in a most 
dreadful manner, which has obliged your honours petitioners 
to assemble with their Familys together for their Better de- 
fence. But as the number of men now here will not be suffi- 
cient to defend themselves and Familys any long time against 
the Enemy, they must inevitably fall into their hands to be 
massacrey^d or desert the post now at , Either of 


which must be attended with fatal Consequences to the next 
Frontiers, and being well assured (under those dismall appre- 
hensions) that the next under Divine Providence your Honour 
is our Protector, and therefore Desire that our deplorable Cir- 
cumstances may be taken into Consideration, and that such 
relief therein may be Granted, as your Honour in your Wis- 
dom shall direct, and your Honours Petitioners as in duty 
bound Shall ever Pray." 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 174.) Signed by 21 persons. 

On July 25th, 1757, another petition was sent Gov'r Denny 
from Easton, by persons who had lived about Fort Hamilton 
but had been obliged to flee for safety to Easton. It is as 
follows : 

The Petition of sundry Persons, formerly Inhabitants be- 
yond the Mountains, humbly Sheweth : 

That we, your Petitioners, having made Settlements beyond 
the Mountains, have been obliged to leave them; that we last 
fall sowed some grain, which is now fully ripe and should be 
cut down, but for fear of being waylaid and murdered by our 
Enemies, we dare not go to reap it, and without it we and our 
families must be exposed to want and become a burden to our 

We therefore humbly pray that the Governor will be pleased 
to order us a guard of Soldiers to protect us, till we can reap 
and remove our grain to this Side the Mountains; and your 
Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray. 




(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 238.) & others. 

Capt. Van Etten seems to have done all in his power to aid 


the farmers in gathering their harvests, with his limited force 
During the month of July, until its abrupt termination on 
July 21st, we find numerous entries in his journal of detach- 
ments sent to guard the harvesters. The available soldiers, 
however, Avere certainly too few for the duties required of 

During the Conference with the Indians at Easton in July, 
1757, when a treacherous attack on the Governor was feared. 
Col. Weiser sent in haste to Fort Hamilton and Fort Norris 
for a detachment of troops to augment the town guard. This 
also tended to weaken, temporarily, the force at the former 

After this the inroads of the Indians became less frequent. 
Continuous efforts were made to bring about peace with the 
various tribes, and the Delawares especially were generally 
won over to the British side. As a consequence it was prac- 
tically determined to virtually abandon the Forts at the Mini- 
sink region, and, in the Spring of 1758, Lieut. Hyndshaw, then 
in command of Fort Hamilton, was ordered south of the moun- 
tains to Teed's Block House near Wind Gap. Hearing of this 
contemplated action the settlers sent the following petition to 
Gov. Denny: 

"The Petition of the Distressed Inhabitants of Lower Smith- 
field Township, in the County of Northampton, most Humbly 
Sheweth : 

That your Honours petitioners are under some apprehen- 
sions that the Company of Soldiers, Commanded by James 
Hyndshaw, are to be removed from their present Station, and 
of our being left in a Defenceless posture; That your Petition- 
ers have had Intelligence of a Body of upwards of Three 
Hundred French and Indians that are coming Down to Dis- 
tress the Frontiers of this province, and as this part at present 
seems the most Defenceless, it is very probable that we shall 
be the first attacked; That your petitioners have at present 
but 12 men allowed by the province, which we humbly appre- 
hend Can afford us but little assistance ; and further, we Hum- 
bly Conceive that in case we were attacked by so large a party 
we must inevitably fall an easy prey to our Cruel Savage 
Enemy, unless your Honour is pleased to afford us a Reinforce- 


ment, which we flatter ourselves we are assured of, your Hon- 
our Having Hitherto since your Succession to this province, 
exercised a very Fatherly Care over us, for which we return 
our Most Hearty thanks; and further, we being well assured 
that next to Divine Providence your Honour is our protector, 
we Submit our Circumstances to your Superior Knowledge 
to act for us, who as Loyall Subjects are Determined with 
your Honour's assistance to stand against any Enemy that 
may attempt to invade us, and your Honour's petitioners as 
in Duty Bound Shall ever pray." 

Aaron Dupui, William McNab, 

John McMichael, Edward Connor, 

Daniel Shoemaker, Kobert Hanah, 

William Clark, Daniel Mcintosh, 

Samuel Dupui, Michael Shouer, 

Daniel Broadhead, John Williamson, 

Abraham Mullux, James Garlinhousing, 

Nicolas Miekle, John Higglns, 

Leonard Weeser, Isaac Flack, 

John Cambden, Enoch Freeland, 

Frederick Vanderliss, John Drake, 

James Hilman, Jeremiah Flemmer, 

John Hilman, Adam Snail, 

William Smith, Francis Delong, 

John McDoull, (Penn. Arch., iii^ p. 357.) 

These alarms were unfortunately based on something more 
than mere rumor. The MohaAvk Indians were still inclined 
to side with the French and in June, 1758, had formed quite 
a party to attack the Minisink settlement. Teedyuscung and 
the Delawares endeavored to persuade them from their purpose, 
succeeding, however, only in part. Some of the enemy ad- 
hered to their purpose, and committed depredations above the 
vicinity of Fort Hamilton, which then seems to have been 
without a garrison. To the credit of the settlers it must be 
said that from the very outbreak of hostilities in 1755 they 
showed a determination to defend themselves and not give 
way to the Indians, perhaps more so than at most other locali- 
ties, and this too notwithstanding the fact that the protec- 


tion afforded by the Government to them was less than usual, 
neither Fort Hamilton nor Fort Hyndshaw being garrisoned 
as completely as they should have been. In this instance ar- 
rangements were made for defence at Dupui's house, but, 
providentially, the cloud passed by without causing any de- 

With the great Conference at Easton of 1758, at which, 
finally, all the Indian tribes were represented, came peace, hast- 
ened possibly by the success which attended the British arms 
in the field, and the consequent discomfiture of the French. 

This peace, as far as the Minisink region is concerned, might 
never have been broken, not even in 1763 under ordinary cir- 
cumstances, had it not been for an occurrence the relation of 
which can hardly fail to cause a feeling of sadness and regret 
in the heart of every reader of this history. The brief re- 
newal of hostilities was brought about by the tragic death of 
Teedyuscung, the great Delaware Chief. A great man Teed- 
yuscung certainly w^. Bom an Indian, and imbued with all 
the feelings of an Indian, who saw t^e bQijntilaii hunting 
grounds of his ancestors and himself rapidly passing into the 
hands of the white man, too often by unfair means, it was but 
natural that, in the beginning, he should have sided with the 
French and given his approval of the scalping parties which 
went from his tribe against the settlers. It was but natural 
too, that, for a while, he should have wavered in his allegiance, 
but it is certainly a fact that early in the war he became 
friendly to the British Government, and from that time used 
all his influence in their favor. He first won over his own 
tribe, the Delawares, and we have seen with how much greater 
consideration those taken captive by them were treated, many 
even being released and returned to their friends. He then 
visited other tribes, gradually winning them over by his elo- 
quence and arguments, until at last, in 1758, he succeeded in 
bringing about a general peace. At this Conference he was 
the central figure, to him were accorded the greatest honours, 
and it was his dignity and shrewdness that gained the great- 
est results for his people in general. Unfortunately, this 
proved his ruin. The Mohawk Indians were long accustomed 


to look upon the Delawares with contempt, as "women" and 
not warriors. That one, belonging to a tribe so much beneath 
them, should occupy such an exalted position on a great occa- 
sion like that, was more than they could brook. Their hearts 
were filled with a hatred which only his death could satisfy. 
This was determined upon, and, after the close of the Confer- 
ence, they but waited a fitting time to carry out their purpose. 
The opportunity came with Pontiac's outbreak in 1763, when 
they saw a chance for double revenge, and took advantage 
of it. 

Teedyuscung was born on the Pocono, a portion of the lands 
of the Minisinks, at no very great distance from where Strouds- 
burg now stands, the scene of our present narrative. Here 
naturally he returned and lived after the close of hostilities 
in 1758. He was always grave and dignified, although at 
heart he seems to have been somewhat of a wit. A tradition 
of Stroudsburg states that he there met one day a blacksmith 
named Wm. McNabb, a rather worthless fellow, who accosted 
him with, "Well, cousin, how do you do?'' "Cousin, cousin," 
repeated the haughty red man, "how do you make that out?" 
"Oh, we are all cousins from Adam," was the reply. "Ah," 
retorted Teedyuscung, "then I am glad it is no nearer." (Col. 
Stone's History of Wyoming.) 

It was whilst he was quietly living here that in October, 
1763, a party of warriors from the Six Nations paid him a 
visit with a smile of friendship on the face but with murder in 
the heart. After lingering about several days they succeeded 
in treacherously setting fire to his house at night, which, with 
the veteran himself, was burnt to ashes. Thus perished Teed- 
yuscung, who, with all his failings, and weaknesses for drink, 
was a brave man, deserving of a better fate. 

To shield themselves, the Indians who committed the das- 
tardly deed blamed it on the white settlers from Connecticut. 
The result can readily be imagined. Beloved as was the Chief 
by his own people, their wrath was kindled intensely by his 
death and especially in the manner in which it occurred. Par- 
ties at once started out on the war path, and in November 
the authorities were notified by a friendly Indian, Job Chille- 
way, who came to Ensign Kern's near Fort Allen, of a move- 


rnent by the hostile savages on the Minisink settlements. 
Murder had already been committed at the Forks of the 
Schuylkill. The outbreak was unexpected and no prepara- 
tions made for the emergency. But few soldiers were on hand. 
Capt. Kern had a company of some 30 men, which was in 
existence, and Capt. De Haas was raising another, but had 
only succeeded in gathering together 15. A few other com- 
panies were organized or organizing south of the mountains. 
Capt. Kern at once pursued the enemy and ranged towards 
the Minisinks, accomplishing all that lay in his power. How 
many murders were committed we are not told, but Rupp in 
his History of Monroe County, p. 155, says that on February 
10, 1764, Indians, to the number of fifty, attacked the farm of 
James Russell, near Stroudsburg, burnt his barn, killing one of 
his sons and carrying off another. Also that on February 26th, 
John liussell, brother of James, was attacked by three Indians. 
He took to a tree and receiving three fires from each, returned 
as many and drove them off. One shot passed through his 
hat, another through the sleeve of his coat, and the third 
wounded him slightly in the calf of the leg. 

With this ends our knowledge of Fort Hamilton and the 
events which took place in its vicinity. Closely connected 
with its history, however, and not far distant from it was 


When the commissioners appointed by the Governor took 
charge of the defences of the Province, Captains Trump and 
Ashton Avere sent to build Fort Hamilton, as we know. It was 
felt that, in addition, the district around the township of Up- 
per Smithfield needed protection. Accordingly Mr. John Van 
Etten and Mr. James Hyndshaw, both residing in that vicin- 
ity, were selected for the purpose mentioned, and on January 
12th, 1756, Benjamin Franklin issued the following instruc- 
tions from Bethlehem : 












To Oap't Vanetta, of the Township of Upper Smithfield. 

1 — You are to proceed immediately to raise a Company of 
Foot, consisting of 30 able Men, including two Serjeants, with 
which you are to protect the Inhabitants of Upper Smithfield, 
assisting them while they thresh out and Secure their Corn, 
and Scouting from time to time as you judge necessary, on the 
Outside of the Settlements, with Such of the Inhabitants as 
may join you to discover the Enemy's Approaches and repel 
their Attacks. 

2 — For the better Security of the Inhabitants of that Dis- 
trict, you are to jjost your men as follows : Eight at your own 
House, Eight at Lieutenant Henshaw's, Six with a Serjeant at 

Tishhock , and Six with another Serjeant at or near 

Henry Cortracht's, and you are to settle Signals, or Means of 
Suddenly alarming the Inhabitants, and convening your whole 
Strength with the Militia of your District, on any necessary 

3 — Every Man is to be engag'd for one month, and as the 
Province cannot at present furnish Arms or Blankets to your 
Company, you are to allow every Man enlisting and bringing 
his own Arms & Blanket, a Dollar for the Use thereof over 
and above his Pay. 

4 — You are to furnish your Men with provisions, not exceed- 
ing the Allowance mentioned in the paper herewith given you, 
and your reasonable Accounts for the same shall be allowed 
and paid. 

5 — You are to keep a Diary or Journal of every Day's Trans- 
actions, and an exact Account of the Time when each Man 
enters himself with you, and if any Man desert or die you are 
to note the Time in your Journal, and the Time of engaging 
a new Man in his Place, and submit your Journal to the In- 
spection of the Governor when required. 

6 — You are to acquaint the Men, that if in their Banging 
they meet with, or are at any Time attack'd by the Enemy, 
and kill any of them, Forty Dollars will be allow'd and paid 
by the Government for each Scalp of an Indian Enemy so 
killed, the same being produced with proper Attestations. 


7 — You are to take care that your Stores and Provisions 
be not wasted. 

8 — If by any means you gain Intelligence of the Design of 
the Enemy, or the March of any of , their Parties towards any 
Part of the Frontier, you are to send Advice thereof to the 
Governor, and to the other Companies in the Neighborhood, 
as the Occasion may require. 

9 — You are to keep good Order among your Men, and pre- 
vent Drunkenness and other Immoralities, as much as may be, 
and not Suffer them to do any Injury to the Inhabitants whom 
they come to protect. 

10 — You are to take Care the Men keep their Arms clean 
and in good Order, and that their Powder be always kept dry 
and fit for Use. 

11 — You are to make up your Muster Roll at the Month's 
End, in order to receive the Pay of your Company, and to 
make Oath to the Truth thereof before a Justice of the Peace, 
and then transmit the same to the Governor, 

(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 546.) B. FRANKLIN. 

It is evident that the Government expected to put down the 
enemy at once. It is not the only instance in our memory of 
short enlistments at the outbreak of lengthy wars. It was 
not long before the Governor concluded it would be better to 
make the term of service one and even three years. 

The following obligation, signed by nearly fifty soldiers 
(names not given unfortunately), is so unique as to make it 
well worthy of a little space in our record : 

Jany. 12th, 1756. 
We, the Subscribers, do hereby engage ourselves to Serve 
as Soldiers in his Majesty's Service, under the command of 
Captain John Vanetta, for the Space of one Month, and who- 
ever of us shall get drunk, desert, or prove cowardly in Time 
of Action, or disobedient to our Officers, shall forfeit his Pay. 
This Agreement we make in Consideration of being allow'd 
at the rate of Six Dollars per Month, Wages, one Dollar for 
the Use of a Gun and Blanket, to each Man who shall furnish 
himself with them, and the Provisions and Rum mentioned in 
a Paper hereunto annex'd." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 547.) 


Having forwarded his instructions to Capt. Van Etten, on 
January 14th, Franklin makes a detailed report to the Gov- 
ernor of what had been accomplished to that time. In it he 
says, '^I have also allowM 30 Men to secure the Township of 
Upper Smithfield, and Commission'd Van Etten and Hinshaw 
as Captain and Lieutenant." (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 549.) 

This was also the condition of affairs on April 20th, 1756, 
when, in a report sent the Governor of the position of troops 
in Northampton county, it mentions "Capt. Vanetten at Mini- 
sinks, a Lieut, and 30 men." (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 325 — date in- 
correctly given 1758.) 

We are not told when Fort Hyndshaw was built, but it was 
doubtless erected by Capt. Van Etten and his Lieut., James 
Hyndshaw, probably not long after they took charge of the 
vicinity, realizing that they could better protect the settlers 
in that way than any other. It was evidently named after 
Lieut. Hyndshaw, who resided near by. 

Commissary James Young visited it on his round of inspec- 
tion, and has this to say, writing from the "Fort 10 miles 
above Depues, Commonly call'd Hyndshaw Fort." 

June 24, 1756.— At 8 A. M. I sett out from Fort Hamilton 
for Sam'l Depues where Cap'tn Weatherholt's Lieu't and 26 
men are Stationed, when I came there his Muster Boll was not 
ready, I therefore proceeded to the next Fort 10 miles higher 
up the Eiver, at 1 P. M. Came there, it is a good Plain Koad 
from Depue's, many Plantations this way, but all Deserted, 
and the houses Chiefly Burnt. Found at this Fort Lieut. Ja's 
Hyndshaw w'th 25 men he told me the Cap'tn with 5 men was 
gone up the Eiver yesterday, and did not Expect him back 
these two days, they had been informed from the Jerseys that 
6 Indians had been seen, and fired at the night before 18 miles 
up the Eiver. — Provincial Stores, 11 Good Muskets, 14 Eounds 
of Powder & Lead for 30 men, 4 lb Powder, 30 Blankets. 

This Fort is a Square ab't 70 ft Each way, very Slightly 
Staccaded. I gave some direction to alter the Bastions which 
at present are of very little use, it is clear all round for 300 
yards, and stand on the Banks of a Large Creek, and ab't i 
mile from the Eiver Delaware, and I think in a very import- 
ant Place for the Defence of this Frontier; at 3 P. M. I mus- 



ter'd the people, and find them agreeable to the Lieu'ts Roll, 
Regularly inlisted. Finding here such a small Quantity of 
Powder and Lead, and this Fort the most Distant Frontier, 
I wrote a Letter to Cap'tn Arrend (Orndt), at Fort Norris, 
where there is a Large Quantity desiring he would deliver to 
this Fort 30 K) Powder, and 90 lb Lead, and I promised he 
should have proper orders from his Superior Officer for so 
doing, in the meantime my letter should be his Security, in 
which I hope I have not done amiss as I thought it very neces- 
sary for the Good of this Service. 

24 June.— At 7 P. M. Came to Sam'l Dupues, * * * * 
(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 680.) 

It was probably not long after this when Lieut. Jas. Hynd- 
shaw was detached from Capt. Van Etten's Company and at- 
tached to the command of Capt. Nicholas Wetterholt, who had 
charge of the district south of the mountains and also the lo- 
cality about Dupui's house. Lieut. Hyndshaw therefore re- 
mained on duty in the same general neighborhood, although 
not at Fort Hyndshaw. He was replaced in Capt. Van Etten's 
Company by Lieut. Samuel Allen, who was commissioned May 
19, 1756. 

On December 6th, 1756, Major Parsons reports to Rich'd 
Peters, the Colonial Secretary, that he had supplied Fort Hynd- 
shaw on August 24th, with 15^ lb powder, 90 lb lead and 25 
flints. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 81.) 

I beg now to give a sketch showing the location of this Fort, 
for which I am indebted to Rev. Theo. Heilig, of Stroudsburg. 
With regard to it Mr. Heilig says, "About Fort Hyndshaw I 
am quite sure, having the data from a man who has been ^in 
the fort many a time' over thirty years ago." Mr Heilig, him- 
self, has resided in the vicinity for a long time and is thor- 
oughly acquainted with its people and history. It would seem 
as if traces of the embankment, or line of stockades, were 
visible some thirty years ago. 

In accordance with the instructions given him by Franklin, 
Capt. Van Etten was careful to keep a daily journal of events. 
We are fortunate in having preserved to us the record extend- 
ing over some months. Whilst more fully narrating the oc- 


currences at Fort Hyndshaw, it also includes Fort Hamilton, 
Captain Van Etten being in command of both defences. We 
cannot do better than to give it, without comment, as he has 
written it : 

Journal kept l)y Captain John Van Etten, 1757, 

Of all the Proceedings and Circumstances of Affairs, together 
with all Busnis and Scouting Done by said Company, from 
the 1st Day of December, 1756. 

December y'e I'st, 1756. 

1. I went on Scout with the oldest Ser't, to see if there ware 
Indians on the Cost, but discovr'd none; we Keturned safe to 
the fort. 

2. After Keleaving Guard Imploy'd the men in hailing fire- 

3. Keliev'd Guard and kept the men about the Garrison. 
4 and 5. Paid some of the men, and for some provisions. 

6. Kept the men in their posts about the Garrison. 

7. I went on Scout with 2 men and made no Discovery; 
Keturn'd Safe to the Fort at Night and found all in Good 

8. and 9. The men Divided, one part standing on Sentry 
while the other Cut and Hall'd firewood. 

10. I went out on Scout with one man and made no Discov- 
ery, and Eeturn'd safe to the fort. 

11. The Lieu't. went on his Journey to Philadelphia, in order 
to get the pay for my men for 3 months ; the same Day, about 
11 o'clock I went out on Scout with 6 men and Traviled four 
milds out making no Discovery, Keturn'd to the fort. 

12. Sunday and Eainey, we all staid at the Garrison. 

13. In the morning, after Guard Eelv'd, I went out with six 
men on Scout and one Neighbour, and Traviled eight milds 
out and made no Discovery, and Keturn'd to the Garrison all 

14. After Guard Keliev'd I went out with four men on Scout, 
and sent two men with Jacob Swortwood to Guarde him in 
fetching his Grane, where it might be thrash'd. 

15. I went with five men on Scout, and s'd Jacob Swortwood 
went again to his place with s'd Guard, it being about four 


milds from the fort. At night, when I returned, told me, that 
before he and s'd Guard came to the field they saw a small 
Stack of Rye set out in a Large Shock of 30 Sheves on a 
side, and places Left in the middle to Soot out at, and a bee 
hive set on the top. 

16. After the Guard Reliev'd, 1 went with six men to the 
place, and order'd two men with the Wagons to come some- 
time after when I surrounded the field, then to come and 
take their Loads which was Done, but no Discovery of the 
Enemy. I wend then with two men through the woods and 
the rest of the men Guarded the Waggon, and we all returned 
safe to the fort. 

17. It snow'd; I made a pair of Mokesons for myself to 
Scout in. 

18. After the Guard Eeliev'd I went to Scout with six men, 
and went about Six milds from the fort and found the Snow 
in many places half Leg deep; we Discevering no Enemy, all 
Eeturned safe to the fort. 

19. It was Sunday, one of the Corporals with 4 men went 
on Scout but made no Discovery, and all Returned safe to the 

20. It Snow'd, therefore we all kept the fort. 

21. The Corporal with 5 men hall'd firewood to the Fort, 
and I went with 3 men on Scout, and four milds out finding 
the Snow knee deep, but made no Discovery, and Returned 
to the fort after dark. 

22. After the Guard Reliev'd we cleard of the Snow round 
the Fort, in order to go to work to build a blockhouse. 

23. We all kept the fort. 

24. And to the end of the month, the Snow Rendering it 
unfit for Work or Scouting, we cleared the Parade and kept 
the men to their Exercise twice a Day, in which time I paid 
of the men. 

January y'e I'st, 1757. 

1. Reliev'd Guard and Exercis'd the men, and kept the fort. 

2. Sunday, kept the fort. 

3. Stormy weather. 

4. Kept the men to their Exercise. 

5. The same. 


6. Hall'd firewood for tlie Fort. 

7. Exercis'd the men twice. 

8. Hall'd firewood, having the advantage of the Snow. 

9. Sunday, all kept the fort. 

10. I went on Scout with Six men, and Night on us we 
lodg'd at Daniel Shoemakers. 

11. Keturned home to the fort. 

12. I went on Scout with 4 men, made no discovery, and all 
Eeturned to the fort. 

15. Hall'd firewood for the fort. 

17. I went on Scout with 5 men. Discovering nothing, Ke- 
turn'd to the fort. 

19. I, with the Leu't, went on Scout with 6 men, and Trav- 
iled 3 milds out, and Keturned to the Fort, Discovering noth- 

20. I went out on Scout with two men and made no Discov- 
ery ; Keturn'd safe to the fort. 

21. Keliev'd Guard and kept the fort. 

22. I went out with one man on Scout about 7 milds from 
the fort, Discover'd nothing, and Keturned safe to the fort. 

23. Keceiv'd order from Hon'bl Cor'll, Dated 16 Instant, 
that as soon as the Season would admit to Dissipline the men 
in the English Exercise, and to teach them the Indian method 
of war, the which was immediately observ'd and daily prac- 

30. Keceiv'd Orders from the Hon'bl Cor'll to Inlist men to 
fill up my Company, to consist of fifty men, Encluding 2 
Serj'ts, 2 Corporals and a Drummer. 

Febrawary y'e 4'th. 
Then writ to Maj'r W'm. Persons, Discovering the necessity 
we ware -in of Ammonission. 

6. Keceiv'd an answer with 29 lb of Lead. 

7. Keept the men to their Exercise as usual. 
9. Excessive bad weather. 

11. After Guard Keliev'd hall'd firewood. 

12. Snow, which made it unfit for Exercise. 
14. Kept the men at their Exercise. 

16. Hall'd firewood for the fort. 


17. The men Exercis'd twice. 

18. and 19. The same. 

20. Sunday, kept the fort. 

21. Went out on Scout with 4 men, but finding it so un- 
comfortable Traviling, and making no Discovery, Keturn'd to 
the Fort. 

22. and 23. The men kept to their Exercise. 

24. After Guard Eeliev'd hall'd firewood. 

25. Kept the men to their Exercise, and to fhe End of the 

March the I'st, 1757. 
At Eight O'c Eeliev'd Guard and Exercis'd the men tvrice. 
4. After Guard Eeliev'd, orderd the old Guard to Hall fire- 
wood for the fort. 

6. Sunday, Eeliev'd Guard at 8 O'c and then Exercis'd the 

7. After Guard Eeliev'd went out on Scout with ten men, 
Travil'd about Six milds, made no Discovery, and Eeturn'd to 
the fort. 

9. Exercis'd the men twice. 

10. Exercisd the men twice. 

11. After Guard Eeliev'd at 8 O'c, Hall'd firewood for the 

12. After Guarde Eeliev'd I went with Six men on Scout, 
and traviled about Six milds and made no Discovery, and all 
Eeturn'd safe to the fort. 

13. Sunday, Eeliev'd Guard at 8 O'c, and all kept the Garri- 

14. After Guard Eeliev'd went on Scout with 8 men. Dis- 
covering nothing Eeturn'd to the fort. 

16. After Guard Eeliev', hall'd fire w^ood for the fort. 

17. Dissiplind the men twice. 

18. After Guard Eeliev'd I went on Scout with 5 men, made 
no Discovery, and Eeturn'd to the fort. 

19. Eeliev'd Guard, Dissiplind the men, and hall'd fire wood. 

20. Eeliev'd Guarde at 8 O'c, and all kept the fort. 

21. Went on my Journey for Easton in order to attend 
Court, Leaving the Charge of the Company w't the Leu't., and 


being Detaind by Keson of Bad weather I attended the whole 

28. I Returned Safe to my Company at Fort Hyndshaw, 
finding all thing in good order and my men in health. 

29. Keliev'd Guarde and Dissiplind the men twice. 

30. After Guarde Reliev'd went on Scout with 4 men, and 
others employ'd in hailing fire wood for the fort. 

April I'st. 
After Guard Eeliev'd I went on Scout with 4 men, and went 
about 4 milds, making no Discovery Returnd to the fort. 

2. Eelievd Guard and Dissiplind the men. 

3. Sunday, Reliev'd Guard and kept the Fort. 

4. Dissiplin'd the men twice. 

5. Relieved Guard, then imploy the men in hailing fire wood. 

6. Dissiplind the men. 

7. Rec'd an Order, dated March 28'th, from the Hon'bl Corll 
Wiser, commanding me immediately to Send an Attachment of 
men, 16 in number, to Relieve the Company station'd at Fort 

8. Took possession of s'd fort according to my orders, and 
the Company march'd of Leaving the fort in my care. 

9. A Copy of a Letter from Maj'r Will'm Parsons, sent to 
then commander at fort Hambleton, I being there and no 
other. I open'd the same, and found it to be a Coppy from the 
original, sent by Jacob Snyder, Insign, being then Commander 
at fort Norris, with which I could not content myself but 
went of immediately to Easton to see the Maj'r. 

10. Then spoke with the Maj'r at his own House, who or- 
der'd that the Leu't., with 25 men of my Company, should im- 
mediately march to Riddin, to the Cor'lls, there to Rec'd fur- 
ther orders. 

11. Returned home to fort Hyndshaw, Receiving the Origi- 
nal of the Maj'rs order by the way, and acquainted the Leu't* 
with the affair. 

12. Got the men ready for a march. 

13. Convey'd the Leu't. with s'd Company as far as fort 

14. The Leu't. march'd with said Company about Eight O'- 


Clock in the morning from Fort Hambleton, and I Returned 
to fort Hyndshaw. 

15. Dissiplind the men. 

16. Went to see the Maj'r. 

20. Eeturn't to Fort Hyndshaw, visiting Fort Hambleton 
on my way, and found all things in good order at both Forts. 
The Night following an Express came from fort Hambleton 
to me at fort Hyndshaw, with an accomp't of a murder Com- 
mitted about Sun set. 

21. Went to Fort Hambleton with 7 men, and found it to be 
one Countryman, a Lad of about 17 years of age, Kill'd and 
scalp'd by the Indians, about 100 Rods from fort Hambleton, 
which I took up and Buried the same day; Return'd safe with 
my men to fort Hyndshaw. 

22. Hissiplined the men twice. 

23. Imploy'd the men hailing firewood to the fort. 

24. Sunday, all Kept the fort. 

25. My Serj't Leonard Den, with 2 men of, for subsistance to 
Sam'll Depues, having got within about 2 milds of s'd Depues, 
s'd Sej't was shot, the 2 men Return'd and inform'd me of it, 
where upon an alarm was beat, and the neighbours all gath- 
er'd to the fort; myself with 7 men went of immediately and 
found him Kill'd and Scalp'd, and intirely Strip'd and shame- 
fully cut, that his bowls was Spred on the Ground, I immedi- 
ately sent of 3 men to s'd Depues for a Wagon,, which being 
come we carried him to s'd Depues, where we kept guarde 
that night. 

26. Early in the morning we Buried him in a Christian man- 
ner, & all Return'd to Fort Hyndshaw. 

27. Dissiplind the men, increasing our Sentinels as far as 
our week circumstances would allow. 

28. Dissiplind the men, giving them such Causion as I 
thought needfull. 

29. and 30. Guarded the neighbours in their necessary Busi- 
nes, with all that could possibly Leave the fort. 

May l^st. 
Sunday, all Kept the fort. 

2. Dissiplind the men at 8 O'c in the morning, then imployed 
the men in hailing firewood for the Garrison. 


3. Dissiplin'd the men at 8 O'c in the morning, then I went 
ont Scout with 5 men, an traviled about 5 milds and Discovered 
nothing, and all Keturned safe to the fort. 

4. Dissiplin'd the men at 8 O'c in the morning, then I went 
on Scout with 5 men, & traviled about 6 milds, Discovering 
nothing; all Returned safe to the fort. 

5. About eight in the morning, word came to me that an 
Indian was seen about 3 quarters of a mild from the fort; I 
went out immediately in pursuit of them with Eight men 
& one neighbour, and found it true by seeing his track, but 
could not come up with him, but my men from the fourt saw 
him Running from us at a Considerable distance from us, as 
they Likewise at the same time Could see some of my Com- 
pany, as the few I left to Keep the fort affirm'd to me at my 
Return, but I seeing nothing of him Return'd with my men 
safe to the fort. 

The same day one of my men, coming from a field where I 
sent a guard to Guard the neighbours at there work, saw three 
Indians coming down a mountain near s'd field, he gave me 
notice, I immediately went out with s'd man and 2 others in 
pursuit of them, not thinking it proper to go very far, the 
Garison being left very weak. I stood on guard with 2 men, 
while one went to alarm the Guard that was in the field, then 
Returned to the fort. Discovering nothing. 

6. At Eight of the Clock Dissiplind the men, after which 
some of my men, who had observ'd the night before as they 
were on Sentury, that the Dogs Keept an unusual barking 
and running to a particular place, went to see what the occa- 
sion should be, and found that an Indian had stood behind a 
tree about 25 yards from the fort; being told I went to see and 
found it true, his tracks being visible enough to be seen; in 
the afternoon I went on Scout with 4 men and a neighbour, 
but made no Discovery, and all Returnd safe to the fort. 

7. The men call to their Exercise at the usual time, after 
which I went w'th 4 men to a Smiths shop whare we made an 
Instrument to take a Bullit out of my Horse, who was shot 
when Ser't. Den was Kill'd, and all return'd safe to the fort. 

8. Sunday, assisted some of the neighbours with their Goods 
and families to the fort. 


9. Dissoplind the men, after which Guarded two of the 
neighbours in their necessary Bussiness, with what men could 
be Spaird, and continued the same to the 

15. Sunday, we all Kept the fourt. 

16. Tho weak handed, I went on Scout with 4 men, traviled 
about 4 milds, made no Discovery, and Keturn'd safe to the 

17. Dissiplind the men at 8 O'c in the morning, then guarded 
the neighbours with all I could Spair from the fort. 

18. Exercised the men twice, and all kept the fort. 

19. After Exercising the men, Guarded the neighbours with 
all that could be Spaird from the fort. 

20. The Corporal, with 3 men, went on Scout by my order, 
traviled about 3 milds, mad no Discovery, and Eeturn'd to the 

21. Att 4 O'c, afternoon, Keceiv'd a letter from Cap't. Busse 
to send a Corp'U, with 5 men, to meat him at Lest on the 22 
day, to Guard him to fort Allin, which men Dispatch'd in half 
an hour. 

22. Sunday, we few which Kemaind all kept the fort. 

23. About 10 O'clock in the morning I Eeceiv'd a Letter 
from Maj'r Parson, wherein he Desir'd me to come to Easton 
to Eec'e my pay, with the pay for my men ; I having then but 
19 men Left me to keep the Fort, I took the Case together 
with my men into consideration, who all Beg'd of me not to 
leave the fort, where upon I wrote to the Maj'r and Beg'd of 
him to Consider our Circumstance, and Excuse me untill the 
men Eeturn'd. 

24. Dissoplind the Men at Eight in the morning, and all 
kept the fort, being week handed. 

25. I went on Scout with 3 men, and traviled about 3 milds 
in the mountains and Discovered nothing; Eeturn'd to the fort. 

26. Dissiplind the men, and all staid about the fort. 

27. Dissiplind the men twice. 

28. At 2 O'c, in the afternoon, the men, who with Comis- 
ary Young, from Easton to fort Allen, Eeturn'd all in Helth. 

29. Eexercis'd the men, and all kept the fort. 

30. I went on Scout with 3 men, and traviled about 4 milds, 
discover'd nothing and Eeturn'd to the fort. 


31. Dissiplind the men at 8 O'c in the morning, afternoon 
went on Scout with 4 men, went about 3 milds from the fort. 
Discovered nothing, and Keturned to the fort. 

June y'e I'st. 
The Corporal, with 3 men, went on Scout, and gave account 
of no discovery on their Keturn. 

2. Five men sent to Sam'll Depues for Subsistance, in the 
afternoon the fort allarm'd by hearing several Guns fird, I 
immediately, with 3 men, went to find out the Keason, & found 
it to be some who unwittingly shot at fowl in the Eiver. Our 
men all Returned safe about Sunsett. 

3. I sett of on my Journey for Philadelphia, about 4 O'- 
clock in the afternoon, with 6 men as a Guarde, and came all 
safe to Fort Hambleton, and found everything in good order 

4. At 8 O'c in the morning Dissiplind the men, and gave 
strict orders to the Sergant to keep the men Exact to there 
duty, and about 4 O'c afternoon I persued my Journey. 

5. I lay sick by the way within five milds of Easton. 

6. Came to Easton and paid my Respects to Maj'r Persons. 

7. Notwithstanding the 111 Surcomstance of Body I was in 
I persued my Jorney. 

8. About 4 in the afternoon I came to Philadelphia, and De- 
liver'd the Express sent to Maj'r Persons, just as it was sent 
to him to his Hon'r the Governor, who Desir'd me to wait on 
him at 12 O'c in the next day. 

9. I waited on his Honour as was requested, the answer 
from Mr. Petters was that my Busines should be done the 
next day at 9 O'c in the morning. 

10. 11 and 12. I waited, but it was not done according to 

13. About 3 O'c in the afternoon I left the Town. 

14. About two in the afternoon I came to Easton, I directly 
paid my Respects to Maj'r Persons, who told me I should take 
a Supply of Ammonicion, where upon I provided Sacks and 
took 100 lb of powder, 100 lb of Lead, and a 100 Flints, and 
also Rec'd a Coppy from his Honour, the Governors orders to 


Kemove to fort Hambleton, and left Easton about 6 O'c and 
went about five milds. 

15. Came safe to fort Hambleton with the Ammonicion, 
about 6 O'c afternoon, and found all things in good order. 

16. At Eight O'c in the morning Displ'd the men and or- 
dered them all to shoot at a mark at Armes Endj and some of 
them did Exceeding well then; taking a 'Scort of men with 
me I went to Fort where we all arrived safe. I immediately 
call'd the men to Arms, and Ordred every one to get their 
Cloaths, and what ever they had, together as quick as pos- 
sible, and be Eedy to march to fort Hambleton. 

17 and 18. After Dissoplining the men as usual, we made 
everything Kedy for our march. 

19. About 9 O'c in the morning we all marched from fort 
Hyndshaw, with all the Baggage, and all arrived safe at fort 
Hambleton, and met no opposition, and found all things in 
good order there. 

20. At Eight in the morning call'd the men under Armes, 
and after Exercissing the men, order'd out Six men on Samuel 
Dupues Eequest, to Guard him in taking his wife to the 
Doct'r, at Bethlehem, who tarrid all night at s'd Depues; the 
same day I went on Scout with 4 men and one neighbour to 
git acquainted with the woods, as also to See if any Discovery 
could be made of the Enemy, but made no Discovery and Ke- 
turn'd to the fort. 

21. At 8 O'c Exercis'd the men, about 12 O'c the Guard, with 
s'd Depue & wife, came to the fort; then order'd a Guar'd of 
ten men, who went of under the Care of a Corporal with s'd 
Depue with orders, that after they had Guarded s'd Depue as 
far as was needful, to Carry a Message from me to the Maj'r, 
at Easton, and to Eeturn as soon as Dispatch could be made. 

22. Exercis'd the men that Eemand at the fort as Usual; 
nothing Extreordinary hapned, so all kept the fort. 

23. In the morning, near Eleven O'c, the fort was allarm'd 
by some of the neighbours who had made their eccape from 
the Enemy, five of them in Company near Brawdhead's house, 
seeking their horses in order to go to mill, was fir'd upon by 
the Enemy, and said that one of them, John Tidd by name, 


was Kill'd, whereupon I immediately Draughted out 9 men, 
myself making the tents, in as private a manner as possible, 
and as privately went back in to the mountains in order to 
make a Discovery, giving Strict orders to those left to fire 
the wall peace to allarm us, if any attact should be attempted 
on the fort in my absence there, but Six men left at the fort, 
and coming in sight of s'd house, on the back side Perceiv'd 
a small smoke arise at s'd House, then traviling about a Quar- 
ter of a mild in order to surround them, we heard four Guns, 
the first of which being much Louder than the rest, Expected 
the fort was attacked, where upon we Eetreeted back about a 
Quarter of a mild, and hering no more Guns, my Councel was 
to go to the House, but my pilot, who was well acquainted 
with the woods, thought it best to place ourselves in ambush, 
for they would come that way, he said; and as we ascended 
the mountain in order to place ourselves we saw the house in 
a blaze, and the pilot thought best to Eetire a little nearer 
the house and the fort, where we might have a better view, 
and in the Eetreet we heard 14 Guns fir'd as Quick after each 
other as one could count, then we plac'd our selves in two 
Companies, the better to waylay them; the party that was 
nearest between the house and the fort soon saw 27 Endeav- 
ouring to git between them and the fort, I, with the other 
party saw 5 more comeing on the other side, we found that 
we were discovr'd and like to be surrounded by a vast num- 
ber, wherefore we all Retreted and got between them and the 
fort, then haulting they came in view. I then Calinged them 
to come, and fir'd at them, and altho at a Considerable dis- 
tance, it was Generally thojight one of them was kill'd, by ther 
Squootting and making off, then we all Retir'd to the fort ; Im- 
mediately upon our Return, a Scout of 13 men from the Jar- 
sey, who were in search of Edw'd Marshals wife, who was 
kill'd some time ago, came to the fort, being brought there 
by seeing the smoke and hearing the Guns fir'd, who all seem'd 
forward to go after them, when I, with nine men, went out 
with them, but having got some distance out they would go to 
the house to see whether the s'd man was kill'd. Being come, 
we found him Kill'd and Scalp'd, his Body and face Cut in an 


inhuman manner, Cattle also lying dead on the Ground, where 
upon they all went of and left me with my small number to 
take care of the Dead man; whereupon we took him up and 
Eeturned to the fort, in which time my men that went to Easton 
Eeturn'd to the fort. 

24. Att about nine in the morning, having made redy, I 
went with 18 men and buried the man, then went from the 
grave in search and found 15 Cattle, Horses and hogs dead, 
besides two that was shot, one with 5 bulits, the other with 
one, and yet there are many missing, out of which the Enemy 
took, as we Judg, the value of two Beaves and almost one 
Swine — in the Evening sent an Express by two men to the 

25. Disciplined the men nothing Extraordinary hapned, all 
Kept the fort that night ; the two men that went with the Ex- 
press to Easton Eeturnd in safety to the Fort. 

26. Early in the morning Eec'd the Maj'rs Letter, wherein 
he show'd himself very unesey that the men from Fort Norris 
had not Joyned me, and Desir'd me to send to fort Norris to 
know the Eeason; and thinking it might be occasioned for 
want of Carriages to bring their Stores, Desir'd me to in- 
deavour to send a Wagon theather, accordingly, as I was in- 
deavoring all I could in compliance of the Majors Desire, about 
3 O'c in the afternoon, Lieu't Hyndshaw came to the fort with 
ten men from Cap't. Weatherhold, and Six from Fort Norris, 
showing his order from Cor'll Weiser, for him to Command 
Fort Hambleton, and for me to abide with a small number of 
men at Fort Hyndshaw. 

27. At Eight in the morning called my men under Armes 
as usual, and Draughted out Eleven men and sent them under 
the care of a Corp'll, with 3 neighbours, in search of some 
Cattle, which they fear'd ware taken or Kill'd by the Enemy, 
at which time the Lieu't. undertook to talk with me, and pro- 
posed to me that if I would Let him have Six out of the men 
I had with me, to Joyn the men he had from Cap'tn Weather- 
hold, he would go to Fort Hyndshaw and stay there until! 
further orders, and Leave the Six men he brought from Fort 
Norris with me, which I could not Comply with, as not being 
in my power, having mov'd to Fort Hambleton by his Honours, 


the Governors order, there to be reinforc'd by a Detachment 
from Fort Norris, their to stay untill further orders, at which 
the Lieu't. went of with a Sej't, and a waiting man he brought 
w't him from fort Augusta, and left the 16 men he brought 
under no bodies care; the Scout which went out all Return'd 
safe to the fort, finding what they went in search of, all well. 

28. After Exercising my men, as Usual, I sent out a Scout 
of 12 men under the care of Serj't, who travil^d about six milds 
out, and all Returned safe to the fort making no discovery. I 
being not fully satisfied on the acc't of the men Left with me, 
whome I could do no less to then feed and Give them their 
proper allowance of Rum, wherefore I wrote to the Maj'r, 
laying the Circumstance of the matter as plain as possible 
befor him, Desiring his advice what to do in the Case, the 
which I sent of in the Evening by the Serj't. and one man with 

29. After Exercising the men I sent of Six men, under the 
Care of the Corporal, with Six of those men which the Lieu't. 
left, who voluntarily went to assist and to guard one Peter 
Snyder, in taking of some Cattle whome he had, fled of and 
Left some time ago, least they should be Kill'd by the Enemy ; 
in the Night the Serj't, w't the man that went w't him Re- 
turn'd safe from Easton, with a letter from Maj'r, wherein he 
advis'd me to put the s'd men on duty which was left w't me, 
and where as he Expected Cor'll Weiser to be hare in a few 
days, to keep the fort untill he came, also Desir'd me to En- 
deavour to hasten Lieu't. Engles march to fort Hambleton. 

30. I put the men left w't me on duty in the afternoon, the 
men that Guarded Peter Snyder all Returnd safe to the fort. 

July 1. 
In the morning Call'd my men under Armes, Draughted out 
ten men whom I sent under the Care of the Serj't, with nine 
of those men the Lieu't Left at the fort, whome I ordred 
where and how far they should travil on Scout, the which they 
perform'd and Return'd about one, after noon. About one 
O'c, after noon, the Lieu't. came past the fort, stoping at John 
McMackills, soon after. Came to the fort and show'd an 
Order from Cor'll Weiser, that I should Resign the Command 


of Fort Hambleton to him, upon which I Call'd my men under 
armes, and as I was sending for the Lieu't. to Give up the 
Command to him, the Centunal hearing musick, acquainted 
me with it; I Expecting it was the Cor'll coming, delaid untill 
the Cor'll came, who weighing the Circumstances of things, 
continued me in possession of s'd Fort. 

A True Journal of All Transaction in Captain John Van 
Etten's Company from the Second Day of July. 

July ye 2d, 1757. 
At Eight in the morning the men called to armes, at which 
time the Cor'll took a view of the men and their arms, and 
finding all in good order, after Giving Orders for the Kegula- 
tion of the Company about 12 o'clock, the Cor'll with his at- 
tendance marchd off, after which we all kept the fort. 

3. All Kept the Fort it being Sunday. 

4. After Disciplining the men a party of twelve men under 
the command of a Serj't sent to Sam'll Depues with a Team 
for Necessary Subsistance, and all Keturnd safe to the fort 
in the evening according to orders. 

5. Very Eainy Weather unfit for Scouting or Exercise, all 
keept the fort. 

6. At Eight in the Morning call'd the men to their Exercise, 
and Gave the men necessary Council how to behave accord- 
ing to the Orders Given to me by the Cor'll, at which time 
Complaint was made to me by some of the men that some of 
the Neighbours which Eesided in the fort ware Lousey, by 
which means the whole Garrison would soon be in the same 
condition. I then Orderd the Corp'll with 3 men to assist him 
to make a search, and found that one Henery Countryman 
his family, and one John Hillman and his family ware Lousey, 
I ordred them out of the fort to their own house, it being but 
about 8 or 9 Eods from the fort, then Imployd the men to 
Clean the fort within Doors and without, which was accord- 
ingly done, also sent out a scout of four men with 3 neighbors 
who voluntarily went in hopes to find some Cattle they had 
missing to Eeturn the same Day, which they did in the Even- 
ing all safe to the fort, making no Discovery of any Enemy. 


7. At Eight in the morning I called the men to their Ex- 
ercise then Divided the men into two Guards, Each Guarde 
to stand their Day, those that ware not on Guarde to be im- 
ploy'd in Scouting, Guarding the Neighbours and in things 
necessary to be done about the fort, and gave strict orders 
to those that ware on guarde that they should not Leave 
their post nor go from the fort, and that Every Sentunal 
should behave well on his post, about one o'clock after noon 
having occasion to go to John McMickles, saw John Jough 
Coming out of the woods with hooppolls on his Sholder, who 
was one of the Guarde, Immediately the Corp'll cane to s'd 
house, I then went home, and finding the Glass ran out I exam- 
ined the matter and found that the Sentunal had stood his 
proper time out and ought to be Eeliev'd. I therefore calld 
the next man on the List and see to his Kelieff myself, the men 
that ware not on Guarde I imployed in banking up the Earth 
against the Stockaders to prevent the waters Settling and run- 
ning into the well which I found to be the Occasion that the 
water was so bad in the well. 

8. At Eight in the morning Kelievd Guard, after which I 
imployd the old Guard in clearing out the well. 

9. After Guard Kelievd, a scout of ten men with the Serj't. 
went w't some of the Neighbors to Mr, Broadhead's place, who 
went on Necessary Busines and met no opposition, and all 
Returned safe to the fort. 

10. Sunday, a scout of 6 men went to Sam'U Depues on 
Necessary Busines, on their Return said they heard a person 
whistle, which was supposed to be an Indian, but see nothing, 
all Returnd safe to the fort. 

11. After Guarde Relievd, The Serj't with the old Guarde 
ten men Set out on Scout to travil South-East, and as far as 
to Return by night which was performed. Meeting no Opposi- 
tion nor Discovering any Signs of the Enemy all returnd safe 
to the fort. 

12. At Eight in the morning calld the men to their Exer- 
cise and Relievd Guarde, after which upon John McMichaels 
Impertunity ordered ten men as a Guarde, where he was Cut- 
ting his harvest some Distance from the fort, with whom I 
went myself and placed them to the best advantage I could 



ordering none to fire his Gun Except at an Enemy, and that 
3 Guns should be an Allarm, they meeting no opposition all 
returned safe to the fort. 

13. After the men exercisd and Guard Kelievd, it was my 
intent to Guard John McMickle as the Day before but his Son 
in Law Coming from a Long Jorney or Voiage Detained him 
from Labour, wherefore I then took the Old Guard consisting 
of ten men and three Neighbours, with whom I went on Scout 
Directing my course South about 5 miles from the fort, and 
from thence west 2 miles, thence by judgment northerly so as 
to come to the fort in which way we came by the Sepperates 
Meeting house, where we found the Enemy had Lodged not 
long since, they Leaving a Bed of Fern even in the pulpit. 
But meeting no opposition all return d safe to the fort. 

14. At Seven in the morning calld the men to their Exercise 
& Kelievd Guard, I then went with John McMickle and ten of 
my men as a Guard, to Guard said McMickle and men Imployd 
at his harvest, posting five men a Small Distance from the 
field, which I thought best to discover the Enemy if any 
Should attempt to fall upon the people at work, the other five 
I posted in the field, about 3 o'clock afternoon I went w't the 
Corporal Eound to the Sentunals as privately as we could and 
found them all on their guard. 

15. It being very Kainey unfit to be out with arms we all 
kept the Fort. 

16. The Kain Continueing until near 12 o'clock I then went 
to John MacMickle and asked him wheather he was Kedy to 
go to his harvest, but I saw no preparation or Inclination for 
it, wherefore I went to the fort intending to go on scout with 
part of the men after Dinner, but before we ware redy four 
men came to the fort with an order from Cor'll Weiser, dated 
June 14, 1757, the Contents were as followeth, that he had 
Sent Orders to Lieu't Hyndshaw to attend the Treaty with the 
ten men of Capt. Weatherholts Company with him who ware 
then at Fort Hyndshaw and ordered me therefore without 
fail to send ten men from fort Hamilton to replace those 
Ordered away, where upon I immediately draughted out nine 
men, the Corp'll making the tenth whom I sent off to the 
Lieu't the same day, as soon as possably they could make them 


Selves Eedy which was in about half an hour after Keceiving 
the Cor'lls Orders Under the Cair of the Corp'U with Orders to 
the Lieu't to station them as he thought fit, the which the 
posted at Sam'll Depues. 

17. Sunday, seven of my small party of men left with me 
with four neighbours went on scout under the Command of 
the Serj't, who traviled South-westerly about six miles, then 
taking a Compass northerly all returned safe to the fort mak- 
ing no Discovery of any Enemy. 

18. At Eight in the morning I went with five men and 
guarded John McMickle at his harvest, placing 3 Sentunals a 
small Distance from the field, and two in the field with men at 
work, they meeting no Opposition all returned safe to the 

19. Early in the morning one Garrit Brodhead applied to 
me for a guard to which I told him I would do for him what 
Lay in my power with the few men I had, I then ordred five 
men under the Cair of the Serj't & went my Self with one man 
to accompany me to the fort, and placed the Sentunals in the 
best manner I could for Safty, Leaving orders with the Serj't 
that fireing 3 guns should be an allarm, and then returned to 
the fort, and tended guard unti' ye Second Double Sentury. 

20. Guarded s'd Brodhead as the Day Before, and all re- 
turnd safe to the fort. 

21. In compliance with the Cor'lls order early in the morning 
I sent to Sam'll Depues for the [mare] he had in keeping in 
order to send my message to the Cor'U at Easton, who returnd 
with s'd Mare safe in the Evening also 4 men Guarded John 
Drake at his harvest with orders to give an account of what 
hapnd, which was all was well, but as to their behaviour after 
their coming to the fort, I shall acquaint the Cor'U of the 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 222). 

With this dairy ends our history of Fort Hyndshaw. It is 
probable that it was abandoned as a defensive station even 
before Fort Hamilton, and, with the gradual approach of 
peace, there only remained for it to stand as a silent memento 
of the terrible events of the past. 



It is not generally known that probably the first settlements 
in Pennsylvania were not on the Delaware at Philadelphia, 
but some hundred miles up that river at Shawnee, in Monroe 
county, near Stroudsburg. They were made by the Low Dutch 
or Hollanders, from New Netherlands, on the fertile, low 
lands along the Delaware, called, after the Indians occupying 
them, the ^'Minisink Flats." These lands lay on both sides 
of the river for a number of miles. When the first settlement 
was made is unknown, and could not be ascertained even from 
those living there in 1787, generally the grandchildren of the 
original settlers, and who were merely aware that it antedated, 
many years, Penn's purchase in 1682. Those who first came 
seem to have been Holland miners, who made a good road, 
about 100 miles long, from Esopus (now Kingston) on the 
Hudson river to the Mine Holes on the Jersey side of the 
Delaware river near Stroudsburg. Tradition has it that much 
ore was hauled from thence over the Mine road as it was called, 
to Esopus, but of what character is not known. Seeing the 
extreme fertility of the low lands, the Dutch soon occupied 
them, raised abundant crops and hauled their produce over 
this same road to Esopus, their market. When later the 
English reached them they found a people who knew nothing 
of Philadelphia, William Penn or the Proprietary Government. 
Capt. John Van Etten, of Fort Hyndshaw and Fort Hamilton, 
was one of the descendants of these original Dutch settlers. 
The person, however, in whom we are now most interested 
is Samuel Dupui, a Huguenot Frenchman, who settled origin- 
ally at Esopus, there married a Dutch girl, and some time 
prior to 1725 came to the Minisink region. He purchased a 
large portion of the level lands on which the present town of 
Shawnee is situated, of the Minsi Indians in 1727, and like- 
wise the two large islands in the Delaware — Shawano and 
Manwalamink. Subsequently, in 1733, he purchased the same 
property of William Allen. Here, on the Delaware river, 5^ 
miles from where the present town of Stroudsburg stands, 
Dupui built a log house, his first home, which was afterwards 


replaced by a stone house, of spacious size, and which he occu- 
pied at the outbreak of Indian hostilities in 1755. 

Prominently situated as it was, just beyond the mountain, 
where it commanded the populous region above, as well as the 
district below with the approaches to Easton, Bethlehem, &c., 
it was but natural to occupy the building at once, especially 
as its substantial character, in itself, made it an admirable 
place of defence and refuge. 

This was immediately done. As early as December, 1755, 
Capt. Isaac Wayne was temporarily on duty at the place. 
(Penn. Arch., ii, p. 542). Before long, however, when the 
Commissioners were completing their more permanent arrange- 
ments, Capt. Wayne was ordered elsewhere, and Dupui's forts 
was put under the Command of Capt. Nicholas Wetterholt, 
who had general charge of the entire country just south of the 
Blue mountains from the Delaware to the Schuylkill. The 
building was further strengthened and fortified by constructing 
around it a stockade. 

This is what Commissary Jas. Young has to say about it, 
when he reached it on his tour of inspection: 

June 24, 1756. At 8 A. M. I sett out from Fort Hamilton 
for Sam'l Depues, where Cap'tn Weatherholt's Lieu't and 26 
men are Stationed, when I came there his Muster EoU was 
not ready. I therefore proceeded to the next Fort, 10 miles 
higher up the Kiver (Fort Hyndshaw, which he duly inspected 
and left the same day). * * * At 7 P. M. Came to Sam'l 
Depues, Mustered that Part of Cap'tn Weatherholt's Comp'y 
that are Stationed here, a Lieu't and 26 men all regularly In- 
listed for 6 months as are the rest of his Comp'y; Bound De- 
pues house is a Large but very Slight, and ill Contriv'd Stac- 
cade with a Sweevle Gun mounted on each Corner. M'r De- 
pue was not at home, his Son with a Son of M'r Broadheads 
keeping house. They express'd themselves as if they thought 
the Province was oblig'd to them for allowing this Party to be 
in their house, allso made use of very arrogant Expressions 
of the Commissioners, and the People of Phil'a in General; 
they seem to make a mere merchandize of the People stationed 
here, selling Bum at 8d. p'r Gill. — Provincial Stores, 13 G'd 
Muskets, 3 Cartooch Boxes, 13 lb Powder, 22 lb Lead. 


25 June — At 5 A. M. sett out from Depues for the Wind 
Gapp. (Penn. Arch., ii, p. 680). 

Mr. Young's criticism of the family is hardly fair, and was 
doubtless occasioned by some little occurrence not to his lik- 
ing. When we remember that these people, and others, had 
been living for years on their plantations, many of them pur- 
chased fairly from the Indians, which, at considerable ex- 
pense and labor had been brought to a high state of cultiva- 
tion, and were then suddenly confronted by the English from 
Philadelphia who bluntly told them the lands were theirs and 
that they would either be obliged to purchase them over again 
or leave them, we can readily believe that they did not have 
the most cordial feeling towards the English. Yet, notwith- 
standing this fact, I read nowhere else any harsh criticism 
against Mr. Dupui, but, on the contrary, many kindly ex- 
pressions. He may have sold rum to the garrison, but it was 
hardly to be expected that he could keep them supplied with 
that necessary of life for nothing. We know, in addition, that 
he served as Commissary to a portion of the Provincial troops, 
but doubtless gave full and honest measure for everything 
for which he was paid. 

I am again indebted to the Kev. Theo. Heilig, of Stroudsburg, 
for the map herewith given, showing the location of Dupui's 
Fort. He, in turn, obtained his information from Mr. Kobert 
Depuy and his wife, the oldest people of the vicinity, descend- 
ants of the original settlers, and present owners of the identi- 
cal farm. Mr. Depuy resides at present in Stroudsburg. It 
has been and is still a source of great regret to him that many 
valuable papers relating to this very subject were destroyed 
by a miserable vandal into whose possession an old secretary 
fell, which contained them, and which he wanted to use for a 
more practical purpose and so made way with the papers. 

The location of Dupui's Fort is generally given at the mouth 
of Mill creek. This is a mistake. The fort, as we have seen, 
was Mr. Dupui's residence and this was located as above. It 
was about 200 ft. west by south of Mr. Kobert Depuy's pres- 
ent farm house. It was on the road leading from the main 
road to the ferry. From here the main road runs in a westerly 
direction to Stroudsburg, 5J miles, and the Delaware Water 


Gap, and in a northeasterly direction to Bushkill, by the river, 
where stood formerly Fort Hyndshaw. There was an old 
spring on its site, and numerous relics have since been found 
on the spot, corroborating the testimony of Mr. Robert De- 
puy, its present owner, whose ancestor built the original log 
house, as well as the stone house, which surrounded by its 
stockade, was the fort. 

On February 5, 1758, Adjutant Kern reports Depew's House 
in charge of Capt. Garraway (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 339), and, in 
detail, names Ensign Hughes in Command, with 23 men, 10 
Province Arms, 9 Private Guns, 40 lbs powder, 80 lbs lead, 
4 months Provisions, 6 Cartridges, and distant from P. DolPs 
Block House 20 miles. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 340). 

James Burd on his tour of inspection in 1758 reports: 

March 2'd, Thursday. 

Marched from hence [Teed's Block House] at 9 A. M. for Mr. 
Samuell Depews, went by the way of Fort Hamilton to Vew 
that place, arrived at Fort Hamilton at 2 P. M., vewed it & 
found it a very porr Stockade, with one large house in the 
middle of it & some familys in it. This is 15 miles from Tead's. 

Arrived at Mr. Depews at 4 P. M., miles, snowed much & 
prodigeous cold, ordered a Revew tomorrow morning at 9 
A. M. 

This is a very fine Plantation, Situate upon the River Dela- 
ware, 21 miles from Tead's & 100 Miles from Phila'a, they go 
in Boats from hence to Phila'a by the River Delaware, which 
carrys about 22 Ton. This place is 35 miles from Easton & 
38 from Bethlehem. There is a pretty good Stockade here & 
4 Sweevells mounted & good accommodation for soldiers. 

3'd Friday. 

Revewed this Garrison and found here 22 good men, 50 
lb of powder^ 125 lb of lead, no flints, a great Quantity of Beaff, 
I suppose 8 Mo. Provisions for a Comp'y, but no flour, plenty 
of flour at the Mill, about 300 yards from the Fort. My horses 
being tyred I'm obliged to hault here today. Extreme cold. 
The Country apply for a Company to be Stationed here. Or- 
dered Ensigne Hughes to his Post at Swetarrow. 


4th Saturday. 

Sett off this morning for Easton. * * * (Penn. Arch., 
iii, p. 356). 

In June, 1758, Oapt. Bull, commanding Fort Allen, having 
been notified of approaching danger, at once wrote Mr. Dupui 
as follows: 

June ye 14th, 1758, at Fort Allen. 
Mr. Samuel Depugh: 

This is to let you know that there is this evening come to 
Fort Allen too white men from Wioming, one named Fred- 
erick Post, and one Thomson, who have been there with mes- 
sages from the Government, who informs that there pass'd by 
Wioming a party of Indians, in number 25, Being part of too 
hundred French Indians, on their way to the frontiers or Mini- 
sinks, these in hast from yours to Serve, 

(Penn. Arch., iii, p. 423). JOHN BULL, Capt. 

Immediately Mr. Dupui wrote to Mr. Swain at Easton ; 

Smithfield, June 15th, 1758, at night. 
Dear Sir: 

Inclosed I send you Capt. Bull's letter to me from Fort 
Allen, with an acc't of Indians supposed to be on their way 
to this part of the Frontiers or Minisinks, which is much to be 
feared, will prove most fatal to this part, as it is at present 
the most Defenceless, the Bearer of Mr. Bull's letter informs 
me that he saw 11 Indians between this and Fort Allen, but he 
Luckily made his escape, to this he says he is willing to be 
qualified, I hope D'r Sir you will be kind enough to take his 
qualification, and Transmit it to his Honour our Governor 
with a state of our present Defenceless Circumstances, inter- 
ceding for us by imploring his hon'r to aid and assist us as 
much as in his power, as your influence I humbly apprehend 
is Great and yourself well acquainted with our Defenceless 
Situation, much mischief has been done in the Minisinks some 
time ago of which I believe you are by this time informed, 
last Thirsday the Indians began to renew their Barbarities by 
killing and scalping 2 men, and slightly wounding another in 
the Minisinks, and this morning we heard the Disagreeable 


news of a Fort being taken at the upper end of the Minisinks, 
by a party of Indians supposed to be 40 in number, the white 
men its said belonging to that Garrison were Farmers, and 
were out in their plantations when the Indians fired on them 
and killed them, whereupon the Indians marched up to the 
Fort and took all the women and children Captive and carry- 
ing them away, and last night the Indians stole a ferry Boat 
at a place called Wallpack; and brought from the Jersey 
Shore to this side a large number of Indians, as appeared by 
their Tracks on the sand banks, so that we are in continual 
fear of their approach, I wish we may be able to Defend our- 
selves against them till it be in his honour's power to assist 
us under God, he being our protector, and I make no Doubt 
from the Fatherly care his honour has been pleased to exer- 
cise over us since his succession to this province, But he will 
be willing to acquiesce with your reasonable and just senti- 
ments upon the whole, which believe me Dear Sir will always 
meet a gratefuU and adequate acknowledgement from your 
most Humble Servant, 


P. S. — Should his Honour think proper to send men, he need 
not provide any further than their arrival here, I have pro- 
visions for them. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 424). 

On June 29th Lieut. Samuel Price writes Gov'r Denny, from 
Fort Allen, notifying him of the arrival of Teedyuscung, and 
stating that Capt. Bull, with Ensign Quicksell, and 40 men, 
had set out on a scout towards the Minisinks and up the 
Mountains, from whence they had not yet returned. (Penn. 
Arch., iii, p. 429). 

Shortly after this, early in. August, a party of Mohawk In- 
dians and a French Captain reached Diahogo, on the Susque- 
hanna, with the avowed intention of making war against the 
English. The friendly Delawares persuaded a number to re- 
turn, but ten of them and the French Captain could not be re- 
strained and proceeded, apparently in the direction of the 
Minisinks. Teedyuscung at once sent word to Fort Allen of 
this fact. (Penn. Arch., iii, p. 509). 

It is needless to say that all the occurrences given in connec- 


tion with both Fort Hamilton and Fort Hyndshaw are appli- 
cable to a certain extent also to Dupui's Fort. As in the case 
of these other Forts, when peace was finally declared not long 
after it gradually cast off its warlike garb and became once 
more the quiet domicile of a prosperous farmer and trader. 

Certainly the history of the three forts just concluded, and 
the part played by each of them in the dark Indian tragedy, 
is of sufficient interest and importance to entitle each of them 
to a tablet, perpetuating their memory, to be placed as may 
be most advantageous for the purpose intended. 


Dupui's Fort closes the list of defences erected and used 
from the Susquehanna to the Delaware River during the In- 
dian War of 1755-63, the history of which has made a more or 
less connected narrative of events. There remains one more, 
however, in this territory, which played a part, although not a 
very important one, in the later events of the Revolutionary 
War. This was Fort Penn, located in the eastern section of 

When built and by whom I have not been able to ascertain 
definitely. It seems to have been erected during the early 
part of the war, by the authorities of Northampton county, 
doubtless under direction of the Executive Council. I am even 
inclined to believe that it was under the direct supervision of 
Colonel Jacob Stroud, commanding the Sixth Battalion of 
Northampton county militia, who remained in charge of it 
during its entire history. Colonel Stroud owned some 4,000 
acres of land in its vicinity, and it was after him and his 
family that Stroudsburg was named. The Colonel himself, 
however, was not inclined to sell any of his property as build- 
ing lots, and it was not until after his death in 1806 that the 
town was really laid out, in an admirable manner, by his son 
Daniel, who had traveled through various towns and villages in 
New Jersey and New England, and, copying after them, im- 

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parted to his own place the quiet rural aspect which they pos- 

The fort was most likely named after the Proprietor of the 
Province, William Penn. It does not seem, at any time, except 
for a few days occasionally, to have been occupied by troops 
of the Continental army, but served as a place of rendezvous 
for the militia of the neighborhood when called into active ser- 
vice, for which purpose Col. Stroud made it his headquarters. 
It was evidently built as a possible means of protection 
against the Indians, and was expected to be used for that pur- 
pose more than to resist an attack from the British troops, as 
it stood near what was still the frontier of settlement and was 
more or less surrounded by savages who might at any time 
begin hostilities, being incented thereto by the machinations 
of the British and Tories. It is equally unfortunate that we 
have nothing to indicate its appearance. There can be but 
little question on that point, however, as forts built at the same 
time and under similar circumstances were very much on the 
style of the forts used during the Indian War a few years pre- 
vious, except more substantial and generally more extensive. 

Through the kindness of Eev. Theo. Heilig, of Stroudsburg, 
I am able to give the exact location of Fort Penn. 

The first event with which Fort Penn was prominently iden- 
tified was the terrible massacre at Wyoming in the beginning 
of July, 1778. In the early part of the war the British, to 
their disgrace, began intrigues with the Indians of the Six 
Nations, who had committed such terrible atrocities during the 
French and Indian War and who had, with such difficulty, 
been won over to peace. Their depredations in the year 1777 
were principally in the northern part of New York, during 
which time Pennsylvania enjoyed a certain immunity from 
danger, notwithstanding its proximity to the savages. Prompted 
by a feeling of patriotism, and ignoring their own danger, 
the men of the Wyoming Valley enlisted in the Continental 
army, in response to the many urgent appeals of Congress, 
leaving their homes defenceless. It was then that Colonel 
John Butler, with a party of Tory Kangers, a detachment of 
Sir John Johnson's Royal Greens, and large body of Indians, 
chiefly Senecas, descended the Susquehanna and fell upon the 


hapless women, children and old men left in the Valley. It 
has been assigned to another to tell the sad story of brave 
but ineffectual defence which was made, and of the terrible 
scenes of massacre which followed. Families were broken up 
and dispersed, men and wives separated, mothers torn from 
their children and some carried into captivity, while those who 
escaped fled through the wilderness of the Pocono mountains 
toward the Delaware river. Of these some died of their 
wounds, other were lost and never heard of more, others 
again perished in the great swamp of this neighborhood which 
from that circumstance gained its present name, "The Shades 
of Death," and the miserable remnant at last found refuge in 
Fort Penn. 

Just prior to this time Col. Spalding had been at Stroudsburg 
with a detachment, and, upon learning of the danger threaten- 
ing the people of Wyoming, immediately left to succor them, 
but was too late, and passed on to the West Branch, and after- 
wards went up to Sheshequin. 

This brings us to the first official record I have been able 
to find which has any bearing on our subject, a letter to Vice 
President Bryan signed by Colonel John Weitzel, Lieut, of the 
County, and John Chambers, a Sub. Lieut. It is as follows : 

Northampton, July 8, 1778. 

Just now we Received A Letter from Col. Stroud of the 
6th Batt'n of Northampton County Militia informing us that 
a body of Indians and Whitemen are upon their march to the 
Settlements upon Delaware, they being Discovered at the 
mouth of Lahawaxin and moving towards Shaholy. By the 
best Information we Received we Learn that Wyoming is 
Finally Destroyed, upon which we have Ordered out half of 
the Batfn of the County; but by all the Accounts it is not 
a Sufficient number to withstand their Force, as we suppose 
this to be a Different Number from those at Wyoming, which 
by those that made their Escape their number is supposed to 
be between Seven and Eight Hundred. 


Sir, we Humbly beg your Interposition on the Premises & 
am with Due Submission your Humble Servants, 

. JOHN CHAMBERS, Sub. Lieut. 

To His Honour George Bryan, Esq'r., Vice President in and 
for the State of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia. (Penn. Arch., 
vi, p. 629). 

The enemy continued their ravages and advance towards 
the Minisinks, where the people were but poorly prepared to 
receive them. Col. Stroud begs for aid in a letter of the 17th, 
to Col. Weitzel; 

Fort Penn, July 17th, 1778. 
Dear Sir: 

I just now, by express, received a letter from Judge Symens, 
informing me that Coshishton was entirely cut off yesterday 
morning by a parcell of torys & Indians, masacreing all Men, 
Woemen & Children, Even those that have been Captivated 
by them before and dismissed by them with certain badges of 
Distinction, and their reputed friends they threatnd to cut 
off, & destroy Peanpeek this morning, which we expect, if they 
should incline to come on to Minisinks and this place; we shall 
be unable to prevent it, as we are but about 60 men Strong 
now assembled, therefore I must beg a line from you directing 
me what to do, whether to retreat with the inhabitants or 
stand with a handful of men to be destroyed, or whether I can 
depend on relief, as we cannot hear any thing of relief coming ; 
if you, in your wisdom, should think it Best for me to make 
as good a stand as I can, I beg you will in all haste send me 
more ammunition, and you may depend on my taking all the 
care I can. 

I am. Sir, 

your humble Serv't, 

P. S. — I cannot moderate the Inhabitants to continue much 
longer without more assistance, and I beg your instructions 
as I have had none yet from you; and I assure you I think 
more danger than I apprehend you think of, and I assure you I 
cannot Stand nor keep my men here without more assistance. 

(Penn. Arch., vi, p. 651.) J. S. 


It is the letter of a brave man who was willing to remain at 
his post of duty in the face of almost certain death if attacked. 
It is therefore a source of comfort to know that, for the pres- 
ent at least, the danger passed by. 

The Indians, however, were a constant menace to the in- 
habitants, and in September, of the same year, we have this 
appeal for assistance to Vice President George Bryan, of the 
Executive Council: 

Lower Smithfield, Northampton Co., 

September 27th, 1778. 

We think proper to give your Honour Intiligence of the 
present Circumstances of this part of the State, relative to the 
fears of the good people of these Townships labour under for 
fear of the Indians. It is some time past since the Melitia's 
times were up & they discharg'd ; we for some time after were 
in hopes that others would be sent to take their place. Above 
us in Delaware «& upper Smithfield, a fine Contry near thirty 
miles in length, is almost Evacuated, the people moved over to 
new Jersey for safety; & in this Township there is only a 
Guard left at Cornl Stroud, whose times is almost expired & 
will soon return home, & unless they are replaced with others 
we shall lay expos'd to the Eavages of the Savages. There is 
a Verbal report here that Men is sent towards their Towns; 
as for the certainty we do not know, & if so the success is un- 
certain, & if the attempt should prove unsuccessful we may 
soon expect to shere the fate of the later; and as there is no 
Men to scout to make any discovery, the first notice we may 
expect is a Stroke, we therefore Submit our case to the wis- 
dom of your Honour & the board of War to grant us such as- 
sistance as you in your wisdom shall think Proper. 
We are with due respects, 

your humble Sarv'ts, 





(Penn. Arch., vi, p. 767.) 


Efforts seem to have been made to collect the militia to- 
gether, but apparently with only partial result, not sufficient 
to guard against the danger which still threatened. On Oc- 
tober 25th, Col. Stroud, himself, writes another letter to the 
Council direct, laying before them the state of affairs and 
again asking aid : 

Fort Penn, October the 25th, 1778. 
Dear Sir; 

I heare send with the Bearer the Copey of Two Mens Oathes, 
and by other circumstances as wee can fully Learn, That the 
Indeons and Toreys are gon up to Coshishton with their Plun- 
der, and Expect there to get more Eeinforcements, and to be 
Down Emediately on us ; perhaps when you see oathes of these 
people that was sworn at Minesink, you may not fully persieve 
why These Toreys that is there spoke of stays in them woods, 
but I will Relate a little fuller: a great part of these Toreys 
that has been seen theire is persons that has there wives and 
fameleys and Relations, and indeed Correspondance in the Set- 
tlement, and I am apprehensive That the Councyl and your 
Honour Dos not persieve how this settlement and Wyoming 
Lyes, as Wyoming can be of no service to us as a frunteer 
from the Indeons and Toreys from Coshishton and Cook house, 
and That Quarter, of you will please to Take the map and 
Look in that there, you may see that Wyoming with a small 
party, hardly able to keep That fort can be of any Safety to 
us from up Delawar, as these Indeons That we feare will fall 
on us will come down Delawar River with Cnowes (canoes) 
down to the mouth of Mahaughkamack Crick, which is just 
above Our Settlement, as they did Last; or perhaps they may 
Come a little Lower, as they may find Convenient, as I know of 
nothing to prevent them ; for I assure you there is very few peo- 
ple Left above Manuel Gonsaleses mill, which is 12 miles from 
My house, and Back of me, between me and the great swamp 
There is no settlement, but the bare woods, now if it Can be 
thought Best not to have the frunteer heare, I could wish the 
Councyl in their wisdom would point out the place. Indeons 
is not like our other Ennemys, that we can live with them and 
about them, but whare they have there Camp for they Distroy 


all; and as for the other acc't that wee sent with Esq'r Van- 
camp, the oath of that woman, the Indeons came near the time 
she spoke of, and had it not been for the high weatter they 
would have done much more Mischief, for there was nothing 
to hinder them, for it was Two Days atfer they was gon before 
the Malitia could be collected all ; so I must Leave the Matter 
with you and the Councyl. Hoping you will do at this Distres- 
sing time something for us, and to give us Relief, as wee Have 
our Eyes on you, as wee have no other place to apply to for 

I am. Sir, your very umble serv^t, 
(Penn. Arch., vii, p. 63.) JACOB STROUD. 

In the beginning of his letter Col. Stroud mentions that he 
sends with the bearer the testimony of two men. This he had 
just received from his Major, Sam'l Westbrook, with the fol- 
lowing letter : 
Dear Sir, 

I send you the afidavits of Two persons which has had the 
opertunity of Conversing with some of the Party that was 
with Brant in Doing the Mischief att Peainpack, and to my 
sorrow I acquaint you it has struck the People in General with 
such fear that they are moving away from the upper End of 
the Minisink very fast. If there is Not some means Taken to 
Stop the Enemy the whole of the Inhabitance will move from 
this Place, and, if so, pray what will be Consiquence? Ruin 
an distruction will Emediatly follow. 

I am Sir, 

Your Hu'ble Serv't, 

Sandiston, Oct. 24, 1778. (Penn. Arch., vii, p. 63.) 

Living, as this generation does, in the midst of peace and 
surrounded by plenty, we can hardly appreciate the sufferings 
and ordeals through which our fathers were obliged to pass 
during the long, weary years from 1755 until 1783 during which 
they were so constantly subject to the murderous assault of 
the savage Indian. Indeed, more than that, I am deeply im- 
pressed with the great lack of general knowledge existing on 
the subject. Otherwise bright pupils in our public schools 


can give minute details of Indian depredations in Massachu- 
setts and Virginia, and are not aware that their own State 
was ever called upon to undergo a like trial, and possibly 
one of even more terrible character. And for this they are 
not entirely to blame, especially when we consider how little 
has been written on the subject, and how much less is contained 
in the histories furnished them for text books. 

Unlike the Provincial Government, who, however, were prob- 
ably not in a position to do so, the Congress, into whose hands 
the whole matter finally came, determined to strike a severe 
blow at the savages. Instead of contenting themselves with 
garrisoning a number of forts and awaiting the approach of 
the enemy, active preparations were made in the beginning of 
1779 to march into their own country and lay it waste. Two 
armies were placed in the field, one under General Sullivan 
who started from Easton as his headquarters, marched through 
the Wind Gap and ascended the Susquehanna, and the other 
under General James Clinton who descended the same river 
from the north. This expedition was entirely successful. The 
savages were completely routed and all their villages totally 
destroyed, in the summer of that year. 

After this terrible lesson is was supposed the Indians would 
be too much disheartened to undertake further expeditions. 
Unfortunately such was the case only in part. Small parties 
of them still continued on the war path, and depredations 
were still committed although in a more or less desultory man- 

Early in June, 1779, prior to the destruction wrought by 
Gen'l Sullivan, Captain Brant, the half-bred Indian Chief, left 
the Susquehanna with some four hundred warriors to make 
an incursion into the Delaware valley. The settlers received 
due notice of this movement and threw out scouts to watch 
him. The wily Indians, however, turned a short corner, struck 
for the upper Delaware, crossed near Mast Hope, at a place 
known as Grassy Brook, clambered over the mountains, and 
by forced marches reached the little town of Minisink, where 
the town of Port Jervis now stands. The inhabitants fled, 
and the place was sacked and destroyed. Flushed with suc- 
cess the invaders moved slowly up the Delaware with their 



plunder, on the York State side. In the meantime the people 
of Orange county raised about one hundred and fifty men 
who started on the trail of the savages. On the night of the 
21st the Indians encamped at the mouth of Beaver brook, 
whilst their pursuers lay four or five miles further down. 
On the fatal morning of the 22nd both parties were early in 
motion. Brant had reached the ford at the mouth of the Lack- 
awaxen and a good part of the plunder was safe in Pike county. 
The whites held a short consultation at the Indian encamp- 
ment, where the more prudent urged a return. All further de- 
liberation, however, was cut short by a Captain Meeker, who 
boldly stepped to the front exclaiming, ''Let brave men follow 
me," whereupon nearly the whole party once more started in 
pursuit. Two short miles brought them to the ford, where a 
large body of the enemy could be seen on the opposite shore. 
A few shots were fired and one Indian was seen to roll down 
the bank towards the river. About this time a heavy volley 
was fired into the whites from the high hills in the rear, which 
immediately awoke them to a sense of their danger and the 
mistake they had made in leaving their only avenue of escape 
in the hands of the enemy. The officers in command ordered 
a rush to be made for the high ground. The Indians fell back, 
and chose their position ; the pursued recrossed the river, and 
the brave but doomed band of patriotic whites were cut off 
from the water and surrounded by their merciless foes. Dur- 
ing the whole of that day the battle raged. As night was 
closing in, some twenty or thirty, who survived, made a dash 
for the river, headed by Major Wood, who, through mistake, 
made the grand masonic hailing sign of distress as he ap- 
proached the spot where Brant was standing. The Indian, 
true to his obligation, allowed the party to pass. They swam 
the river and made their escape into the wilds of Pike county. 
A few more escaped under cover of darkness, and the rest slept 
the sleep that knows no waking on this earth. In the year 
1822 the bones of friend and foe alike were gathered together, 
transported to Goshen, in Orange county, where they were 
decently interred and a beautiful monument erected over 
them by a public spirited citizen of the place. (History of 
Penn'a— Dr. W. H. Egle— Vol. ii, p. 1050.) 


It was this invasion which caused Col. Stroud to write to 
Col. Weitzel, the Lieut, of the County, warning him of ap- 
proaching danger, whereupon Col. Weitzel notified Pres. Keed, 
and the Council : 

I this moment Kec'd an express from Col. Strouds, inform- 
ing me that he hourly expected an attack from the Indians 
(their being a Large Bodey of them the numbers not known) 
at the Minisinks, and are Got Down as farr as Aaron Frau- 
denburs, in .ye Jerseys, and thay have burnt his house and 
Barn and have taken sum prisseners their. Gent'n Col'n 
Stroud in his Letter to me Greatly Complains for the whant 
of Aminition and whee have know Aminition hear to send 
him, I humbly beg your Excelence will give Orders to the 
Commiss'y of M. Stores for sum Aminition I haveing Ordered 
a number of men up to Col. Strouds Assistance as fast as pos- 
sibly. JOHN WEITZEL, Lieut. 

Northampton, y'e 22nd of July, 1779. 

(Penn. Arch., vii, p. 572.) 

In accordance with this request the Council ordered on July 
23d that two hundred pounds of powder, and eight hundred 
pounds of lead be forwarded as soon as possible, and that the 
Commisssary of Military Stores provide the same, applying 
to the Honorable Board of War for lead, if the State store 
cannot supply it, and that the same be delivered to Henry 
Houghenbuck. (Col. Kec, xii, p. 57.) 

The emergency was great and the advance of the enemy 
such that there seemed but little doubt of his reaching the 
vicinity of Fort Penn very soon. We are not surprised there- 
fore, in addition to the letter written by Col. Weitzel, to find 
several from John Van Campen, one of the Sub-Lieutenants 
of the county, to Prest. Reed, on the same subject. The first is 
from Lower Smithfield, July 22d, 1779, and reads as follows: 
Honr'd Sir, 

This morning I Returned home from Minnysink at which 
place I left last Evening where I was the spectator of great 
Distress's of many Families, left bare and destitute of all 
Necessaries of life who lived formerly in the midst of Plenty, 


the Depredations of the Enemy your Honour will Observe by 
the Inclos'd Deposition of the People in general are all fled 
in Forts Both sides of the Eiver the Distress's is very great 
in our parts & adjicent Neighbours, after Informing your 
Hon'r of all the Distress's, I am much pleas'd to see the People 
animated with such spirit, one Hundr'd & five under the Com- 
mand of Major Meeker of the State of New York; by the last 
Accounts Last Evening was in pursuit of the Enemy within 
four or five miles Distance of their Eear [this was the party 
which met the terrible defeat just related], this morning one 
Clock P. M. Capt. Shymer march't across the Eiver Delaware 
with one hundred and seventy men with an intent to head 
them off at the mouth of Lakeroack, taken with him 5 Days 
Provision. I Flattre myself in a few Days to give y'r Honour 
an agreeable account of those brave men who are always 
Eeady to Step Forth in the Defence of their Country, 

I am Sir, 

your Hon's most Obd't 
Hum'e Serv't, 

P. S. — We have apply'd to our Lieu's sundry times for Eelief 
but none yet Came. 

Coll. Jacob Stroud acts the part of a Brave Officer with a 
few of his Neighbours who Scouts in the woods with him. 
(Penn. Arch., vii, p. 573.) 

The other letter, written the next day, is as follows : 
Honor'd S'r, 

It is with Distress of mind I Eepeat writing to your Ex- 
clency in Confirmation of what I mentioned to your Exlency 
yesterday by Capt. Shrawder, it is Now an Undoubted case 
with me that this Operation will be as it seems to appeare by 
Butlers Orders to Capt. Caldwell. 

By Express this morning we are informed The Enemy are 
Legally Encamped at Willes mill and Grinding all the grain 
that was in the Mill and What they can collect in Defiance of 
all the Forces that can be collected at present. They have 
yesterday takeing three Prisoners in Jersey and killed 20 head 
of Horned Cattle and all The Horses of Morgan Desheay in 


Pennsylvania, The Entilligence by Express will Accompanie 
This my letter to your Excelency, I have no Further Doubt 
unless Speedy Belief by Additions to all the Small Forces we 
can Collect we will not be able to Believe the poor people that 
are Fled into Forts For the Preservation of their Lives. 

There seems at Present no Prospect but Distress and Dis 
traction in this part of this Country, it Seems to appeare that 
the object of the Enemy is as much Designed against Jersey 
as Pennsylvania. I could wish to have the State of the Opera- 
tion of the Enemy sent to me Qualifyed to, Capt. Hover our 
Informer is a man of undoubted Carreter. 

I Entend this afternoon to Set of to See and learn the move- 
ment of Enemy, if any Farther Intelligence Properly Asserted 
by Qualification, 

I have the Honor 

S'r, to be your 
Excellencys most 
obb't Hum'e Serv't, 
(Penn. Arch., vii, p. 575.) JOHN VAN CAMPEN. 

Mr. Van Campen was doomed to bitter disappointment with 
regard to- the success which he hoped would attend the ad- 
vance of the parties hastily gathered together. One of them, 
as we know, was almost totally annihilated, and the other 
seems to have met with reverses, or at least to have accom- 
plished nothing, if we may judge from the next letter which 
he wrote Pres't Keed : 

Smithfield, July the 31st, 1779. 
Hon'd Sir, 

The Bearer Coll. Chambers is an ondoubted friend to his 
Country, Sub. Lieu't of our County, and an intelligable man, 
our Country is in a Distress'd situation, in my last to y'r 
Honour I mention'd of the Distress's of that Bich settlement 
calFd Mahakemack, I flatter'd myself of suckcess of our men 
that Step'd forth in Pursuit of the Enemy but my Expecta- 
tions turned out to the Contrary I came from that place yes- 
terday, where I went to get the Particulars of the present 
Situation of that Cuntry, I feare, without a spedy Belief this 
Cuntry will be Vacuated we have as yet no hopes of any Belief 


from the Interior parts of this County, your Militia seems to 
be in Confusion at present, S'r I would Kefer you to the 
Bearer Coll. Chambers for the particulars of our present Sit- 

With Due Kespect 
I am S'r your Honours 
Most Obdt Huble Sert, 


N. B. By the Bearer I send y'r Honour an account of the 
men Missing that pursued the Enemy. 

The outlook was of a very gloomy character to the good 
people of the locality about which we are writing, and would 
have been still more gloomy in reality had it not been for the 
providential care of Him who watches over all his creatures 
and so often averts the danger which is about overwhelming 
them. Just as the Indian Chief, Brant, was about extending 
his operations and would shortly have fallen upon a rich and 
populous region, practically without means of defence, he was 
obliged to abruptly retrace his footsteps and hasten to the 
protection of his own home now seriously threatened by the 
advance of General Sullivan. He barely got back in time to 
prepare for the battle fought near Newtown, the present site 
of Elmira, N. Y., on August 29th, 1779, which resulted in his 
total defeat, and was followed by the complete destruction of 
all the Indian towns, supplies and property in general. The 
power of the savages was broken, and, whilst small parties 
still harassed the inhabitants for a long time, they were pre- 
vented thereafter, from accomplishing an invasion on a large 

The reader has doubtless noticed, from the correspondence 
given, that there seemed to have been some difficulty in get- 
ting the militia under arms when most needed, and some in- 
timation was given of a clash of authority. Such, unfortu- 
nately, was the case and we are obliged, reluctantly, to close 
our record of Fort Penn with an account of the disagreement 
which arose between Col. Stroud and the county officials. 

On the official minutes of the Executive Council for August 
Ith, 1779, appears this entry: 


^'Complaint having been made against Jacob Stroud, Col- 
onel of the Sixth Battalion of Northampton County Militia, 
that' .He incites the People to oppose the authority of the Lieu- 
tenants of the County, and in other respects obstructs the 
Execution of the Law : Whereupon it was resolved, that Col- 
onel Stroud do attend this Board on the Tenth of September 
next, to answer the said complaint and that a Copy of this 
resolution be served upon Him, at least Ten days before, and 
that Colonel Wetzel do give Notice to the Sub-Lieutenants of 
this resolve, that they may be ready to Support the said com- 
plaint." (Col. Kec, xii, p. 65.) 

Notices of this action of the Council were sent by Mr. T. 
Matlack, Secy., to John Orndt, who was directed to see that 
they were duly delivered to Colonels Stroud and Weitzel. 
(Penn. Arch., vii, p. 625.) 

What the trouble was we are not told definitely, but can 
surmise. Col. Stroud was expected to defend his neighbor- 
hood from the assaults of the enemy. To do this required 
troops and these came very slowly indeed, too much so in the 
opinion of the man who saw the foe drawing nearer every 
day, knew that all were looking to him for protection, and 
could see no possiblity of obtaining the aid which was needed 
to enable him to perform his duty. Naturally he blamed the 
County officers for neglect of duty and doubtless took steps 
of his own to gather soldiers together, and then came the 
clash. All were faithful officers, and whilst all were wrong 
and to blame, yet it was a wrong which might easily be com- 
mitted under like circumstances, and, which might readily be 
condoned. Still a disagreement between those who had the care 
and protection of their fellow citizens in their keeping could 
only result in public harm, and called for censure. It is a mat- 
terer of no surprise therefore to find that President Keed felt 
called upon to address communications to each of the parties 
in fault, which are herewith given: 

In Council, 

Philada., August 3d, 1779. 

The Distresses of your County by the late Incursions of the 
Indians has given us very great Concern, and the more so as 


we understand the Militia having got into some Confusion do 
not render the Services that might be expected. We are 
sorry to find that some mistaken Opinions you have formed on 
the Mode of their being called out & of the appointments of 
the Lieutenants have had a great share in this Evil. As you 
are now most probably experiencing the sad Effects of such 
Mistakes we shall not add to your Pain by dwelling upon 
them. But desire you to consider the Effects & Consequences 
which cannot be other than the Kuin of your outer Settlements 
& Impoverishment of the County itself. 

A well regulated Militia is the only proper & effectual Force 
against Such on Enemy & the Enemy would stand more in 
Awe of them than three Times the Number of standing Troops. 
To raise Companies for a few Months is not only dreadfully 
expensive & in most Cases ineffectual, but it seems to unhinge 
the System & leave you in fact much weaker than before. 
As you therefore possess a good share of the Esteem & Confi- 
dence of the People, I shall hope & do recommend it to you 
as the best Service you can perform to your bleeding Country 
to do away as far as possible the Effects of former Opinions 
& strive by a general Concurrence with the other Gentlemen 
in the Militia to give them Vigour & Efficacy, encouraging and 
promoting a Spirit of Fidelity & Obedience to the Laws cal- 
culated to aft'ord the best Relief & Security against this dread- 
ful Calamity. 

Wishing you Health & Safety 

I remain Sir, your most 
obed & very Hbbl Serv't, 


To Colonel Jacob Stroud, of N'n County. 

(Penn. Arch., vii, p. 613.) 

Of the same date follows another to the colonels and other 
field officers of the militia in Northampton county: 

Philada., Aug. 3, 1779. 
Gentlemen : 

It has given us great Concern to hear that when your County 
is in the utmost Danger & Apprehension, when so many of 


your friends & Countrymen are suffering so much from a cruel 
& barbarous Enemy, the Militia which is well regulated would 
be your best Defence is in such a state of Confusion as to give 
little or no Aid. We entreat you Gentlemen to bestir your- 
selves, support your Lieutenants with your utmost Weight & 
Influence, remove from the Minds of your Neighbours every 
unkind & uncharitable Sentiment & urge them to obey the 
Laws, to perform the Offices & Duties of Humanity which re- 
quire us on all Occasions to endeavor to relieve the Distresses 
& remove the Dangers of our Friends & Fellow Subjects. It 
is probably from this Beginning that the Indians finding you 
so unprepared will be induced to continue their Ravages & 
endeavor to evade the Expedition set on Foot against them 
by distressing & destroying the Frontiers. — I therefore take 
this Opp'y to request you would at some convenient Day call 
out your Battalions, convince them of the Necessity & Duty 
they are under to turn out with Alacrity & Zeal when such 
havock is made among their Friends & Countrymen. If they 
are Lovers of this Government & Constitution they will shew 
it by their Submission to its Laws & a cheerful Discharge of 
their Duty, — for nothing can so effectually disgrace & injure 
any government as having its Laws neglected, its Frontiers 
destroyed & a mere handful of an Enemy committing Ravages 
which the spirited Exertions of a few men will soon suppress 
if animated by a proper Sense of Duty to themselves & their 

Extinguish the Disputes which subsist among you as fatal 
to your Peace, Safety & Happiness & Hereafter let there be 
but one Dispute who shall serve his Country best. If there 
are any Differences between you & any of the Lieutenants in 
Matter of Opinion avoid Disputes & Heartburnings as much 
as possible, support each other, & be assured that we will sup- 
port you with every Necessary. If I could flatter myself this 
happy Spirit would prevail I should have Pleasure in visit- 
ing the Country & examining the State of the Militia. This 
I shall endeavor to do this Fall if other publick Buseness will 


admit, in the mean Time recommending these Things to your 
most serious Consideration. 

I remain Gentlemen 
Your Sincere Friend 
& Obed Hbble Serv't, 
(Penn. Arch., vii, p. 616.) JOS. KEED, President. 

The third letter, also of the same date, is to Col. John Weit- 
zel. Lieutenant of Northampton county : 

Philada., August 3, 1779. 


The Depredations which have* lately been committed in & 
near the County of Northampton have given us the most sen- 
sible Concern. We have flattered ourselves that the Expedi- 
tion under Gen'l Sullivan would have given perfect Peace 
to that & every other Part of our Western Frontiers. It must 
now be clearly evident that nothing can afford effectual Belief 
against this Calamity but a well regulated Militia, which be- 
ing always at Hand might before This Time, if duly attended 
to, have given a Check to their barbarous Incursions. It was 
to this Force & not to standing Troops or Volunteer Com- 
panies, raised for a few months & stationed in Forts, that N. 
England delivered herself from the most horrible Indian Wars. 
And we must recommend it to you in the most earnest & ser- 
ious Manner to give this important Service your utmost At- 
tention. If your other offices, as we fear is the Case, inter- 
fere with your Duties as Lieutenant of the County we would 
wish you to Consider in which you can be most useful, and 
not suffer one Duty to clash with another by attempting to 
perform too much or too many. 

If the Colonels or other Officers fail in their respective Du- 
ties & do not give you the Support they ought we request you 
would candidly and fairly communicate such Transactions 
that Measures may be taken to enforce a different Line of 
Conduct. If the Frontiers are broke up those who now think 
themselves safe will be a Frontier & shortly experience that 
wretchedness from which they now refuse to rescue their 
Neighbours. We doubt not from the Influence & Weight you 
must possess that your Eepresentations on this Head will be 


much regarded & we do entreat you to leave no Means unes- 
sayed to effect this desirable Purpose. 

We immediately complied with your Bequest the other Day 
we shall do the same on all other Occasions being resolved 
that nothing in our Power shall be wanting to give the good 
People of the County all posible Relief and Assistance. 

I am Sir, 
Your most Obed. & very 
Hbble Serv't, 
(Penn. Arch., vii, p. 617.) JOS. REED, President. 

In due course of time the tenth day of September arrived 
when Col. Stroud was to appear before the Council at Philad'a 
to answer for his actions. In justice to a faithful officer, the 
reader of this record will be equally gratified with him who 
writes it to see the following happy conclusion of a most un- 
fortunate state of affairs, as taken from the minutes of Council 
on that day: 

^'This being the day appointed for hearing the complaint 
against Colonel Stroud, and the parties attending, and pro- 
ducing sundry papers, which were also read, the Council took 
the same into consideration ; whereupon. 

Resolved, That the conduct of Colonel Stroud, in arraign- 
ing the authority of the Lieutenants, and the legality of their 
appointments, is Highly disapproved by this Board, it being 
their clear opinion, confirmed by the sentiments of all parts 
of the State, that the Assembly have a legal constitutional 
power to appoint Lieutenants, and that they ought to be re- 
spected accordingly. 

Resolved, That disputes between officers appointed to pro- 
mote the same service, and Especially one on which the safety 
and security of the People so much depend, is highly preju- 
dicial to the Public Welfare; that, therefore, it be recom- 
mended to the parties now before the Board, to lay aside all 
animosities, and, in future, treat each other with kindness, 
and conduct the Publick business with Harnjony. 

Resolved, That in consideration of Colonel Stroud's good 
Character as an officer, his activity and zeal in the Publick 
Service, the Board think it proper to pass over any farther 
proceedings herein." (Col. Rec, xii, p. 100.) 


Thus happily ends our account of the more important trans- 
actions about Fort Penn. 

Thus also ends our record of the Indian Forts along the 
Blue range, a record which leaves behind it a trail of blood 
such as, we trust, the fair fields of our beloved State may 
never again be called upon to witness. The old forts have 
crumbled away, never more to be rebuilt, and the peaceful 
plow has long since leveled to the ground the little mounds 
which marked the line of their stockades. Even their exist- 
ence was fast passing out of the memory of man, and in a 
few brief years the location of the spots on which most of 
them stood would have been buried in utter oblivion had it 
not been for the wisdom of our Legislature in the appoint- 
ment of the Commission whose labors have just been com- 

As my investigation into the task assigned me progressed, 
I was very greatly impressed with its importance, and still 
more greatly impressed with the neglect which has heretofore 
been generally accorded it. It is painful to realize how few 
are familiar with the events of momentous historical import- 
ance which transpired at this period in the life of our Com- 
monwealth, and on the other hand gratifying to see how many 
are desirous of acquiring this information which has hitherto 
been denied them because not published in a suitable form. 

My work is necessarily one of compilation, as is all history, 
and yet it contains much that is original especially that with 
regard to the location of the several forts. These were, in 
nearly every instance, obtained after most thorough personal 
visitation and investigation. Indeed I have aimed to insert 
nothing in this record which is not actual and true history, 
and, to that end, have written nothing until, after most care- 
ful scrutiny and comparison with the statements of reliable 
authors on the same subject, I have felt assured of its authen- 
ticity. And yet, withal, I am painfully aware of how imper- 
fect my efforts have been, and am only constrained to offer 
them, in obedience to my appointment by his Excellency the 
Governor, and the hope that they may be an incentive to 
further research, which in the near future may result in more 


valuable publications and writings on a most important sub- 
ject heretofore too much neglected. 

In the prosecution of this work my correspondence has nec- 
essarily been very large. In addition it has been my privilege 
to pay personal visits to many homesteads, and to interview 
many persons. It is with great pleasure I here testify to the 
universal courtesy and kindness shown me, and the universal 
desire to aid me in my work, in which every one became at 
once greatly interested. With the best of intention, however, 
I found that an actual knowledge of affairs, in many instances, 
no longer existed, and would have failed in my work had it 
not been for the presence in the community of one or more 
very aged gentlemen, in several instances almost centenarians 
who may, even now, have ceased to exist. 

In all cases where information of a more important charac- 
ter was furnished me, I have endeavored to give the name of 
my informant and fair credit for the same. It only remains 
for me to mention the name of one more gentleman, not hith- 
erto given, Mr. Samuel J. Weiler, of Eeading, Penn'a, who, 
above all others, has rendered me most valuable aid. Thor- 
oughly acquainted with every road and part of the country 
in my district, between the Susquehanna and Lehigh rivers, 
as well as with all the principal inhabitants, he has most cheer- 
fully and unselfishly placed his knowledge at my disposal, be- 
sides much of his time, and has been the means of my quickly 
accomplishing results which could only have been brought 
about otherwise with the expenditure of much time and labor. 

To him and all my kind friends I return sincere thanks. 

Kespectfully submitted, 


Eeading, Penna., May, 1894. 














To the Honorable the Commission appointed by his Excel- 
lency, Gov. Robert E. Pattison, under Act of Assembly, ap- 
proved the 23d day of May, A. D. 1893, to examine and 
report to the next session of the Legislature upon the advisa- 
bility of marking by suitable tablets the various forts erected 
against the Indians by the early settlers of this Common- 
wealth prior to the year 1783. 

This committee, having qualified, met in Harrisburg in No- 
vember, 1893; after organizing, divided the State into five dis- 
tricts, one to each member to examine and report upon to the 
body at some time agreed upon. This being the time set, I 
respectfully submit for your inspection and approval the result 
of my investigations. 

Commencing my labors soon after returning home from Har- 
risburg, I found my territory, which comprised old Northum- 
berland county, with her ample limits contained fifteen or six- 
teen of these forts, many of whose sites were unknown to the 
great mass of our citizens. Three to five generations had 
passed away since the stirring scenes that made these forts 
necessary had been enacted; in some cases the descendants of 
the early settlers had removed or the families died out of the 
knowledge of the present generation. One would wonder at 
this was he not acquainted with the settling up of the great 
West, where, for seventy or more years poured a steady 
stream of emigrants, who, I am happy to say, have done no 
discredit to the State rearing them. 

Those paying attention to archeology invariably assisted me 
to the extent of their ability whenever called upon. I am 

( 351 ) 


deeply indebted to Col. John G. Freeze, author of History of 
Columbia County; Hon. John Blair Linn, author of Annals of 
Buffalo Valley; J. M. M. Gernerd, of Muncy, and publisher-au- 
thor of Now and Then, for much valuable aid. To that vet- 
eran historian, John F. Meginness, of Williamsport, I am 
deeply indebted for assistance in locating a part of the forts, 
as well as the information derived from his publications, es- 
pecially his "Otzinachson," or History of the West Branch 
Valley; to J. H. MacMinn and Capt. David Bly, of Williams- 
port, and Capt. K. Stewart Barker of Lock Haven, for valu- 
able aid; to Wm. Field Shay, Esq., and J. I. Higbee, of Wat- 
sontown, for information and aid in locating sites of some of 
the forts; to David Montgomery, at Fort Kice at Montgom- 
ery's for aid; to O. B. Melick, Esq., of Bloomsburg, for aid in 
locating; to M. L. Hendricks, of Sunbury, for gentlemanly aid 
to the Commission when there; to Dr. R. H. Awl, of the same 
place, for information to the Commission. We found him a 
veritable storehouse of knowledge in all pertaining to Fort 
Augusta, to Sunbury and its surroundings. 

I find it impossible to set out the claims of many of these 
forts to recognition without including the biography in part of 
some of the most active participants in the stirring events of 
their date, and consequently, our report will assume greater 
dimensions than originally expected. 

The forts coming within my review according to the decision 
of the commission, were as follows : 

Fort Augusta. At Sunbury, Northumberland county. Pa., 
on East bank of Main Eiver Susquehanna, and near the junc- 
tion of its North and West Branches, covering branches and 
main river. 

Fort Jenkins. Located on the North bank of the North 
Branch of the Susquehanna, in Centre township, Columbia 
county, about midway between the present towns of Berwick 
and Bloomsburg. 

Fort Wheeler. Located on banks of Fishing Creek, about 
three miles above present town of Bloomsburg, on B. & S. R. 
R., in Scott township, Columbia county, at Shew's paper mill. 

Fort McClure. Located on bank of river within the present 
limits of town of Bloomsburg, Columbia county, Penna. 


Fort Bosley, or Bosley's Mills. Located at Washingtonville, 
Derry township, Montour county, in the forks of the Ohilisqua- 
qua Creek. 

Fort Freeland. Located on the north side of Warrior Eun, 
about four miles east of Watsontown, Northumberland county, 
and on the line of the W. & W. R. R. 

Fort Boone, or Boone's Mills. Located on Muddy Run, near 
its mouth, between the towns of Milton and Watsontown, and 
about two miles below the latter, near the West Branch of the 
Susquehanna, in Northumberland county. Pa. 

Fort Swartz. Located on the east bank of the West Branch 
of the Susquehanna river, in Northumberland county. Pa., 
about one mile above the present town of Milton. 

Fort Menninger. Located at White Deer Mills, on the west 
bank of the West Branch of the Susquehanna and on the north 
bank of White Deer Creek, near the town of White Deer, in 
Union county. 

Fort Brady. Located adjoining the town of Muncy, Lycom- 
ing county, south of the built-up portions of the town. 

Fort Muncy. Located on railroad about half a mile above 
Hall's Station, in Lycoming county, and a few hundred yards 
directly in front of the famous Hall's Stone House of 1769. 

Fort Antes. Located on the edge of a plateau overlooking 
Nippenose Creek, at its mouth and commanding the West 
Branch of the Susquehanna river, on the south side, opposite 
the town of Jersey Shore, situated in Lycoming county, near 
line of P. & E. R. R. 

Fort Horn. Located in the P. & E. railroad, about midway 
between Pine and McElhattan Stations, in Clinton county, Pa. 

Fort Reid. Located in the town of Lock Haven, Clinton 
county, Penna., on Water street, in close proximity and east 
of the Bald Eagle canal. Fortified, spring of 1777. 

Fort Rice. At Montgomery's, known in turns by each of 
these names. Located in Lewis township, Northumberland 
county, four miles west of Bosley's mills, and two or three 
miles from site of Fort Freeland. 

Respectfully submitted, 





Was built in 1756, on the east bank of the main river just 
below the junction of the North and West branches of the 
Susquehanna that here form the main river, the artillery cov- 
ering the debouchure of the branches, as well as the main 
river, at once closing the path by land and movement by water 
to the settlements below from an enemy ; it stood at the upper 
end of the now enterprising town of Sunbury, was a regularly 
laid out fort, and when completed, mounted as the returns of 
the times show, at least twelve cannon and two swivels; quite 
a formidable armament for the time and place; seven blunder- 
busses were also included in its armament ; it was one of those 
military necessities barely acted upon in time. 

The causes that led to the building of the fort were: The 
French and English were struggling for the supremacy at this 
time in America. The English, in our State, had pushed set- 
tlements up to the Blue mountains on the north, and. were 
moving through the passes of the Alleghenies towards Du- 
quesne; the French owned Canada and the Lakes and had an 
eye to the ultimate conquest of our State or a part of it. In 
pursuance of this object, as they held Duquesne, now Pitts- 
burgh, they had fortified Lake Erie at Presqu^ Isle, and run 
a line of forts by the waters of the Allegheny river, from 
Presqu' Isle to Fort Duquesne. The forks of the Susque- 
hanna, after securing their communication with Duquesne, at- 
tracted their attention; the branches of the Susquehanna, the 
one rising in one of the lesser lakes in the State of New York, 
the other overlapping some of the branches of the Allegheny, 
offered them water communication a part of the distance to 
the forks of the Susquehanna. When we take into considera- 
tion that Braddock's defeat had occurred but a year before 
this and their allies, the Indians, were still elated over this 

*Marked by D. A, B. 1906. 

Ho. LO fncm'$ ^mmm's WM fkir. 
Ho. 4 CoLOHsm BVA Rnm /6w ^i^r. 
{i@. 4-. Barracks 2^x30 ff £T 




great victory and ready for new conquests; the movements of 
the French at this time indicate this plainly, as shown by the 
Tradition of the Cannon Hole at the Eace Ground Island, in 
the West Branch, as told the English by the Indians after 
peace, was that a party of French and Indians had left the 
lake country in the fall of 1756 to make permanent advance to 
the forks of the Susquehanna, bringing along three small 
brass cannon. Striking the head waters of the Susquehanna 
(West Branch), they descended by water to about the mouth 
of Loyal Sock creek, where, landing, they sent a reconnoitering 
party to the top of the Blue hill overlooking the forks and Fort 
Augusta, then partially built. Seeing the advancement of the 
fort and the number of men guarding it, considered it impru- 
dent to attack and so reported to the main body who, after 
consultation, decided to return ; as the water was falling, find- 
ing themselves encumbered with their cannon, they threw 
them in the deep pot hole, or eddy, at the upper end of the old 
time race ground island, which has been known as the Cannon 
Hole ever since. Fort Augusta continued on the alert for 
French aggressions until some time after the capture of Que- 
bec by Wolf in 1759, which virtually decided the control of the 
Canadas and, of course, of the Indian allies of the French. 

The friendly Indians at Shamokin urged Gov. Morris to erect 
a strong house at Shamokin for his and their defence, and as a 
rallying point for such Indians as were or might become 
friendly to English interests. The Governor was slower to 
comprehend the military necessity of the move than the In- 
dians. After considerable delay he finally secured the consent 
of the Koyal Commissioners and, upon the Assembly voting 
£2,000 for the King's use, he directed Colonel William Clap- 
ham to recruit a regiment of four hundred men for that pur- 
pose; when the regiment was completed he furnished him a 
plan of a regular fort to be built on the east bank of the Sus- 
quehanna river, at Shamokin. Col. Clapham, after building 
Fort Halifax and leaving fifty men to garrison it to keep open 
his communications and protect the inhabitants on the upper 
part of his route, arrived at Shamokin in July, 1756, after 
building a protection for his men and stores, proceeded to exe- 
cute the Governor's commands, and before winter, had it quite 


secure. Col. Clapham did not remain here a great length of 
time after completing the fort, being called away by other du- 
ties. He was killed by the Indians in 1763, together with his 
family, on Sewickley creek, in Western Pennsylvania. Col. 
James Burd, who succeeded him, continued to strengthen the 
work, as his interesting journal shows. (See Archives, second 
series. Vol. ii, pp. 745-820.) Col. Burd participated in the Bou- 
quet expedition and had command of 582 men. He was in the 
battle of Loyal Hanna (Bushy Kun) and, after that victory, 
accompanied the army to Fort Duquesne. 

For the correspondence in the matter, see History of the 
Forts, Appendix to Penna. Archives, Vol. xii, first series, 
where it is fully collated with references, and shows the mag- 
nitude of the undertaking at so great a distance from his base 
of supplies, with the difficulties of transportation. 

Fort Augusta was at once armed with eight cannon and two 
swivels; the number was increased to twelve, or fifteen can- 
non and two swivels. 

Upon the close of the "French and Indian War," notwith- 
standing the great importance of Fort Augusta as a strategic 
point to the Province, a clamor was raised by the "peace at 
any price" party of that day, and the fort was partly dis- 
mantled. The condition of affairs in the Province at this time 
is ably described by Dr. Egle, in his History of Pennsylvania, 
which says : "The situation of the frontiers was truly deplor- 
able owing to the supineness of the Provincial authorities, 
for the Quakers who controlled the Government were, to use 
the language of Lazarus Stewart, 'more solicitous for the wel- 
fare of the bloodthirsty Indian than for the lives of the fron- 
tiersman.' In this blind partiallity, bigotry and political 
prejudice they would not readily accede to the demands of those 
of a different religious faith. To them, therefore, was greatly 
attributable the reign of horror and devastation in the border 
counties. The Government was deaf to all entreaties, and 
General Amherst, commander of the British forces in America, 
did not hesitate to give his feelings an emphatic expression. 
^The conduct of the Pennsylvania Assembly,' he wrote, ^is alto- 
gether so infatuated and stupidly obstinate that I want words 
to express my indignation thereat.' Nevertheless, the sturdy 


P-c.A \ 


Scotch-Irish and Germans of the frontier rallied for their own 
defence and the entire force of Colonel Bouquet was composed 
of them." 

Fort Augusta, at time of building, held a place of great 
strategic importance, being far in advance of the English set- 
tlements of the Province, holding the only passage by water 
and blocking the pathway along the river by land, to the pio- 
neer settlements below. 

Keadily reinforced and provisioned by batteaux from below, 
the country spreading out fan-like before it, requiring an elab- 
orate system of forts in front of it to restrain it; a safe depot 
for supplies and the accumulation of a force for aggression, a 
point where the main Indian paths could be readily reached, 
and communications kept with them and supply them with the 
necessary beads and gew-gaws to keep them on friendly terms, 
or, on the other hand, to restrain them. Here Colonel Hartley 
drew his supplies in part in his famous march to the destruc- 
tion of Tioga in 1778, returning by way of the North Branch. 
Here, Colonel Plunket organized his expedition against Wy- 
oming, ending in the fiasco of Nanticoke and also ending the 
doughty Colonel's military aspirations. 

After the commencement of the Revolution Fort Augusta 
became the headquarters of this that may be properly termed 
the military department of the upper Susquehanna. Col. 
Hunter was appointed county lieutenant and exercised author- 
ity here to the close of the war. Col. Hartley, with his regi- 
ment was stationed here a part of 1777 and 1778. On the 
breaking out of the Indians in these settlements, which had fur- 
nished the main body of their men capable of bearing arms to 
the Continental army, cried loudly for aid. After the battle of 
Brandywine, Gen. Washington consolidated the 12th Pennsyl- 
vania regiment that, by its fierce fighting at Brandywine and 
other places was almost decimated, with the 3d and 6th Penn- 
sylvania regiments, mustered out the officers and sent them 
home to help the people organize for defence, Capt. John Brady, 
Capt. Hawkins Boone and Capt. Samuel Daugherty being 
among the number. A system of forts were decided upon to 
cover the settlements as much as they were possibly able to do 
so, and were designed to run across the country from near op- 


posite Nescopeck, commenciiig on the north bank of the North 
Branch, where was quite a settlement on the river flats; via 
Meelick's, on Fishing creek, to Bosley's mills, covering most of 
the settlers on Ohillisquaque, to Freeland's mill, on Warrior 
Eun, thence to Widow Smith's mills on the west side of West 
Branch; thence returning to Muncy and thence to Hall's, con- 
tinuing on up and crossing to Antes Fort ; continuing up on the 
south side of the river to Mr. Keid's, at now Lock Haven. A 
few of these places were fortified in 1777, but a portion were 
fortified in the spring of 1778. As the Indians became quite 
active in the spring of 1778, the military authorities of Fort 
Augusta were kept very actively engaged. The massacre at 
Wyoming in that year with the Big Runaway, on the West 
Branch, deluged Fort Augusta with the destitute and dis- 
tressed; already overloaded, they were now overwhelmed. 
The most of these destitute and distressed people soon passing 
down the river, most of the garrisons were withdrawn. The 
Indians soon followed and burned everything undefended. At 
this time the valley of the West Branch presented a pitiable 
spectacle, which it did not regain to any extent until peace was 

It has been claimed by some that at the time of the Big 
Kunaway Col. Hunter lost his head and precipitated matters 
by withdrawing the garrisons of these forts on the West 
Branch. To one looking at his exhausted means for defence we 
cannot see how, as a prudent military man, he could do other- 
wise. Without means to reinforce the feeble garrisons that 
were menaced by a foe more powerful than himself, to have left 
them to their fate would have been improper and likely to 
have been condemned by those who were so ready to find fault 
with him for doing the only thing in his power to do as a mili- 
tary head to this department. Colonel Hunter, at this time, 
had commanded this department fifteen years and knew the 
country and its people intimately; had become so thoroughly 
affiliated with their interests as to be one of them ; their fears 
and misfortunes affected him as they did them. What few 
rays of joy that broke through the black clouds of adversity 
were as exhilirating to him as to them. He was an open- 
hearted, hospitable, brave, generous man, who eventually spent 


twenty years of his life in their service and died in 1784, 
before he saw the full effects of peace, and was buried by the 
side of the fort he so ably defended, and among the people he 
worked for and loved so ardently. He was one of the many 
prominent men who settled in this region. 

General Potter, who served in the Continental army and 
lived in the Buffalo Valley, was a man of great ability, forced 
by bad health to resign from the Continental army before the 
close of the Eevolution. He was indefatigable in his endeavors 
to resist the foe and place his people in a safe position of de- 
fence. He, too, merits the approbation of the succeeding gen- 

Colonel John Kelly and Colonel Hartley are entitled to 
worthy remembrance for the many acts of military ability 
shown by them, 

Moses Van Campen, whose young manhood developed on the 
waters of the Fishing Creek, detained by the Committee of 
Safety from the Continental army for the defence of the fron- 
tiers, spent the summer of 1777 in Colonel Kelly's regiment in 
holding Fort Keid and scouting duty, being orderly sergeant of 
Captain Gaskin's company. In 1778 we find him a lieutenant, 
and early in the season building Fort Wheeler on the Fishing 
creek and on scouting duties; in 1779 scouting duties and 
quartermaster to collect stores for Sullivan's army. Arriving 
at Tioga he volunteered, with many important scouts intrusted 
to him, in which he acquitted himself well. In 1780, captured 
by the Indians, his father, brother, and uncle killed, he, Peter 
Pence and Abram Pike, rising on their captors, killed nine 
and wounded the only remaining one. This was about fifteen 
miles below Tioga ; 1781 engaged in scouting and looking after 
tories; winter spent in guarding British prisoners; spring of 
1782 marched Kobinson's Kangers, of which he was lieutenant, 
back to Northumberland; after a few day's rest, ordered to 
rebuild Fort Muncy. Having commenced the work, on arrival 
of his captain he was sent with a detail of men to the neighbor- 
hood of Big Island, where he was attacked by a large body of 
Indians led by a white man, when in the fight that ensued, 
his party were killed or captured, he included among the 
latter, ran the gauntlet at the Indian towns. Fortune favored 


him, and he was not recognized as the leader who killed the In- 
dians when a captive until after he was sold to the English. 
A tedious captivity ensued, enlivened occasionally by practical 
jokes, etc. He was at last exchanged and returned home, 
where, after recruiting his health he was sent to assist garri- 
soning Fort Wilkes-Barre. At this place he remained to the 
close of the war. Having, during his service, built Fort Wheel- 
er and defended it for a time, built Fort McClure and assisted 
at rebuilding Fort Muncy, besides being actively engaged on 
frontier duties from the commencement to the close of the war. 
He removed to the State of New York before 1800 where, after 
an active life as surveyor and engineer he died, at the advanced 
age of ninety-two, universally respected. 

Visiting with the Forts Commission the ruins of Fort Au- 
gusta in the summer of 1894, under the guidance of Mr. M, L. 
Hendricks, of Sunbury, we found the magazine still there and 
in good condition. John F. Meginness, in his Otzinachson, or 
History of the West Branch Valley, page 269, gives a descrip- 
tion of it as we saw it : ^'The magazine was built according to 
report, on plans of Capt. Gordon, who served as engineer, and 
to-day is still in a good state of preservation, being the only 
evidence of the existence of the fort. It is located in a small" 
field about sixty feet south of the brick house known as the 
'Hunter Mansion,' and one hundred and sixty-five feet from 
the river bank. A small mound of earth marks the spot where 
it may be found, and upon examination an opening in the 
ground is discovered which is two and a half feet wide. There 
are twelve four-inch stone steps leading below. On descending 
these steps the ground space inside the magazine is found 
to be 10 X 12 feet, and it is eight feet from the floor to the apex 
of the arched ceiling. The arch is of brick and commences on 
an offset purposely made in the wall five feet above the ground 
floor. The brick are of English manufacture and were trans- 
ported from Philadelphia to Harris's and then up the river by 
batteaux. On entering the ancient magazine one is reminded 
of a huge bake oven; it has been stated that an underground 
passage led from the magazine to the river, but has been closed 
up. Although a break or narrow cave-in in the river bank di- 
rectly opposite the magazine which had existed for years 


would indicate that such was the fact, yet there is no evidence 
on the inside walls that there ever was such a passage. A re- 
cent careful examination failed to show any signs of an open- 
ing having existed. The stone basement walls are as solid ap- 
parently as when they were first laid. There are no marks or 
other evidence whatever that there had been an opening in the 
wall or that it had been closed up since the construction of the 
magazine.'^ (Query : Would a magazine in a warlike fort have 
communication with the outside world). ^'There was such a 
passage starting from one of the angles of the fort, but it had 
no connection with the magazine." 

There is but one of the cannon that was formerly mounted 
upon the fort known to be in existence. Mr. Hendricks took 
the commission to Fire Engine House No. 1 and showed us the 
highly prized relic. Dr. K. H. Awl, of Sunbury, furnished J. F. 
Meginness its history for his History of the West Branch Val- 
ley and a cut of the old cannon. It is securely fastened and 
carefully guarded. It is supposed it was thrown in the river 
at the time of the great Kunaway in 1778, after being spiked. 
In 1798 it was reclaimed from the river by George and Jacob 
Mantz, Samuel Hahn and George Shoop. After heating, by 
burning several cords of hickory wood, they succeeded in drill- 
ing out the spiked file. It has had quite a checkered experi- 
ence, being stolen from one place to another to serve the dif- 
ferent political parties, between times hidden in places con- 
sidered secure until 1834, when Dr. K. H. Awl and ten other 
young men of Sunbury made a raid on Selinsgrove at night, se- 
cured the much-prized relic and have retained it ever since. 
Of the eleven young men engaged in its rescue sixty years ago 
the doctor is the only one living to tell the tale of its return. 
It is of English make, weighs about one thousand pounds and 
has about three and one-half inch bore. A drunken negro 
sledged off the ring at the muzzle, out of pure wantonness in 

The Maclay mansion, built by William Maclay, one of the 
most prominent citizens of his time, in 1773, is a historic build- 
ing. The back part of the lot was stockaded during the Eevo- 
lution. The house is built of limestone and is now owned and 
occupied by Hon. S. P. Wolverton, present member of Con- 


gress from this district, who prizes it highly for its antiquity 
and historic reminiscences. 

Near here Conrad Weiser built the "Locke house"* for Shick- 
elimy in 1754, the first building in the "Shamokin country," 
and built for a place to confine refractory Indians. Shick- 
elimy is said to have at one time exercised almost unlimited 
control over the Indian tribes, north, west and south. Here 
the Vice-King died and was buried in 1759. When the grave 
of Shickelimy was removed some years ago, Mr. M. L. Hen- 
dricks, the antiquarian of Sunbury, secured the strings of 
wampum, the pipe and many other relics that w^ere buried 
with the Vice-King. He was the father of Logan, the Mingo 

The Bloody Spring. The Hon. S. P. Wolverton also owns the 
land on which this spring is located. Its history, as related 
by Col. Samuel Miles, is as follows, and shows the constant 
danger menacing the garrisons of Fort Augusta. In the sum- 
mer of 1756, I was nearly taken prisoner by the Indians. At 
about half a mile distant from the fort stood a large tree that 
bore excellent plums, in an open piece of ground, near what is 
now called the Bloody Spring. Lieut. S. Atlee and myself one 
day took a walk to this tree to gather plums. While we were 
there a party of Indians lay a short distance from us, concealed 
in the thicket, and had nearly gotten between us and the fort, 
when a soldier belonging to the Bullock guard not far from 
us came to the spring to drink. The Indians were thereby in 
danger of discovery and in consequence thereof fired at and 
killed the soldier, by which means we got off and returned to 
the fort in much less time than we were coming out. The res- 
cuing party from the fort found the soldiers scalped and his 
blood trickling into the spring, giving the water a crimson 
hue, and was ever afterwards called the Bloody Spring. John 
F. Meginness, who visited this spring a few years ago, says: 
"This historic spring is located on the hillside. The space oc- 
cupied by it is about the size of an ordinary town lot, and it 
looks as if it might have been dug out and the earth taken 

*<:?onra(l Weiser, in a letter to James Logan, Sept. 29, 1744, makes mention of this 
"locke house" (See Penna. Archives, I, p. 661.) That this "loeke house," which was 
built for Shikellamy, was a jail or place of confinement is an error due to Weiser's ortho- 
graphy. "Locke" was simply his way of spelling "log." It was a log house, intended 
as a home for the Iroquois vice-gerent. In the same letter Weiser spells "shingles" 
"singles. Oeo P. Donehoo, 


away with horse and cart. The distance across is about twenty- 
five feet and has a depth of ten or twelve feet, and then runs 
out with the declivity. The spring has been gradually filling 
up and there is no doubt it would flow constantly if it were 
cleaned out. The spring now only runs over a couple of months 
in the spring of the year. 

The Blue Hill, standing out boldly, opposite Northumber- 
land, is here in bold relief surmounted in our younger days by 
Mason's observatory overhanging the cliff of some four hun- 
dred feet in height; it is now capped by a fine health resort 

The famous thief, Joe Disbury, was tried at Sunbury in 
1784 for some of his many misdemeanors, found guilty, sen- 
tenced to receive thirty-nine lashes, stand in the pillory one 
hour, have his ears cut off and nailed to the post, that be im- 
prisoned three months, and pay a fine of £30. The venerable 
Dr. Awl still shows the place on the old square where punish- 
ment was inflicted by the pillory and whipping post. The fam- 
ous Dr. Plunket, after attaining notoriety as a military leader, 
took to the bench. As a jurist he dispensed law impartially; 
as to "rogues," he saw they did not go unwhipped of justice. 


Fort Jenkins was erected in the fall of 1777, or the winter 
and early spring of 1778. From its size inside the stockades, 
60x80 feet, we incline to the former date. Mr. Jenkins, the 
owner of the house around which the stockade was erected, 
had been a merchant in Philadelphia, of means, and at this 
time there was quite a number of settlers within three miles 
whom he might get to assist at a work of this kind. 

If built by Colonel Hartley's men, one would suppose they 
would have built it larger, to hold Mr. Jenkins' family, the 
settlers and their families in an emergency, and at least thirty 
of themselves, and one would also suppose Col. Hartley would 
have mentioned it or been credited with its building, as he was 
with Fort Muncy. It was a stockade enclosing the dwelling of 
Mr. Jenkins, the proprietor of the land, and from present ap- 
pearances a second building was included, as cellar depression 

*See Appendix 4. 


would indicate, it probably dated with the stockading, and had 
a lookout place on the roof which was a common thing in those 
perilous times. It is situated on a high bank, or flat, on the 
North Branch of the Susquehanna and overlooks the river, 
about twenty rods distant, as well as the country around, 
about midway between now the thriving towns of Berwick and 
Bloomsburg, in Columbia county. The first we hear of Fort 
Jenkins is from Lieut. Moses Van Campen. When building 
Fort Wheeler he was attacked by Indians, in the month of 
May, 1778, and running short of ammunition, he sent two men 
at night across the country about eight miles to Fort Jenkins ; 
they returned next morning before dawn with an ample sup- 
ply. (Life of Moses Van Campen, page 51). 

It was the right flanking defence of the line running from 
here, on the North Branch to the West Branch, at W^hite Deer 
and thence to Lock Haven; here it was near the Connecticut 
settlements in Salem township, now Luzerne county. It 
covered the river and was a place of importance, and in con- 
junction with Wheeler, on the Fishing creek, covered the 
settlers within their line to the river, from ordinary raids. 

Mr. Jenkins sold the property to James Wilson, one of 
the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who, in turn, 
sold it to Capt. Frederick Hill, who moved upon it and erected 
a dwelling on the site of Fort Jenkins, where he built and kept 
a hotel, and in memory of the old fort named it the Fort 
Jenkins Hotel. In the old days of stage coaches it was a well- 
known hostelry. When he was too old for business his son, 
Jacob, succeeded him and kept up the reputation of the place, 
until, by some chance, he became converted among the Metho- 
dists, when (having plenty of the sterling material they make 
good citizens of within him) cut down his sign post, tore out 
his bar and devoted himself to his farm, which is a fine one, 
and to the rearing of his family in the paths of rectitude and 
virtue, in which he was very successful. Here was born his 
son, Charles F. Hill, now of Hazleton, an archaeologist of con- 
siderable note in this region of country, to whom we are in- 
debted for gathering and preserving many of the facts con- 
nected with Fort Jenkins. On September 9, 1893, I met Mr. 0. 
F. Hill, at the site of the fort. 

He pointed out that the farm house stood upon the site of 


the Jenkins house, that the callar wall was sat on the original 
foundation ; that the well at the farm house was dug inside the 
oaken palisades of the fort during the Eevolution, being 
seventy-five feet deep and down into the limestone rock. Also 
where, when a boy, he recollected seeing the remains of the 
oak palisades still visible in his time; the place where his 
father had shown him the Indians who were killed in the vicin- 
ity were buried; the ground where the whites, civilians and 
soldiers, who were killed in fights with Indians or died of dis- 
ease were buried; some half dozen apple trees yet remaining 
of the orchard planted by Mr. Jenkins before the Eevolution, 
bearing signs of great age, the orchard planted by his grand- 
father showing less signs of age. The spot where, in digging 
the foundation to the present kitchen attached to the present 
farm house he had found the sunken fire place and hearth, 
with bricks about six inches square, unlike anything he had 
ever seen, supposed they were of English make and had been 
brought up the river in boats. He also pointed out where an 
island of five acres, as he remembers it, stood in the river so 
heavily timbered as to prevent a view from the fort to the 
other side, of which not a sign now remains, heavy floods hav- 
ing destroyed it effectually; also, where Nathan Beach's fath- 
er's cabin stood, by the North Branch canal, but under the 
guns of the fort. The canal passes between the site of the 
fort and river at the foot of the plateau on which the fort 
stood. Outside the . fort stood the cabin of a family whose 
name I have dropped ; it consisted of at least six persons and is 
referred to by Col. Hunter under date of 26 May, 1779, writing 
from Fort Augusta, ''there has been no mischief done in this 
county since the 17th instant; that there was a family of four 
persons killed and scalped about twenty-seven miles above 
this, on the North Branch opposite Fort Jenkins. Suppose 
there are Indians seen every day one place or another on our 

The story of this massacre, as related by Mr. Hill is, the 
parents sending two of their children, a boy and girl, to the 
neighborhood of Catawissa, for some necessaries, the children 
took the path on the hill back of the cabin running parallel 
with the river. After proceeding some distance they came to 


the remains of a recent fire, where mussels from the river had 
been roasted. Becoming alarmed, they turned back for home, 
and, on arriving at the hill overlooking their house, they 
saw it in flames and Indians disappearing from the clearing 
into the woods. On descending they found their family they 
had leaft in health a short time before, killed and scalped and 
themselves homeless orphans. This occurred directly opposite 
the fort and almost within reach of the rifles, but concealed 
from view of the garrison by the forest of the island and shore. 
Their first notice came with smoke of the burning cabin, 
the Indians disappearing as rapidly as they came." 

Col. Hunter says, in reference to the removal of Col. Hub- 
ley's regiment toward Wyoming : "This leaves Fort Muncy and 
Fort Jenkins vacant at this critical time, being harvest time. 
(Vol. xii. Appendix, p. 381). Col. Hunter, November 27, pro- 
poses to send twenty-five men to Fort Jenkins for the support 
and protection of the distressed inhabitants." (p. 381). "Col. 
Ludwig Weltner writes to the Board of War, December 13, 

1779, in reference to the posture of several forts, on his taking 
command. I found Fort Muncy, on the West, and Fort Jen- 
kins, on the East branch, with the magazine at Sunbury, to 
have been the only standing posts that were occupied, (p. 381) . 

"April 2, 1780; the savages, the day before yesterday, took 
seven or eight prisoners about two miles above Fort Jenkins, 
and, comparing the condition of things with what it was 
twelve months before, when the forts were well garrisoned, 
Col. Hunter says, now we have but about thirty men at Fort 
Jenkins, which was not able to spare enough men out of the 
garrison to pursue the enemy that carried off the prisoners." 
"On the 9th," Col. Weltner writes from Northumberland and 
says, "I have manned three material outposts, viz : Fort Jen- 
kins, Fort Montgomery (Fort Rice at Montgomery's) and Bos- 
ley's Mills. Col. James Potter writes from Sunbury, Sept. 18, 

1780, that the enemy burned and destroyed everything in their 
power and on their going they sent a party and burnt the 
fort and buildings at Fort Jenkins, which had been evacuated 
a few days before, on the enemy appearing at Fort Rice." 

Nathan Beach, Esq., an old and highly respected as well as 
widely-known citizen of Luzerne county (in Miner's History of 


Wyoming, Appendix, p. 36), says: "In the year 1769 my father 
removed with his family from the State of New York to the 
Valley of Wyoming, now Luzerne county. State of Pennsyl- 
vania, where he continued to reside within the limits of the 
said county until the 4th day of July, 1778, the day after the 
Wyoming Massacre, so-called, when the inhabitants, to wit, all 
those who had escaped the tomahawk and scalping knife fled 
in every direction to places of security. About the first of Au- 
gust following, I returned with my father and Thomas Dodson 
to secure our harvest, which we had left in the fields. While 
we were engaged in securing our harvest as aforesaid, I was 
taken prisoner by the Indians and Tories ; made my escape the 
day following. In the fall of the same year, 1778, my father 
and family went to live at Fort Jenkins (Columbia county. 
Pa.) . I was there employed with others of the citizens and sent 
out on scouting parties by Capt. Swany (Capt. Isaac Sweeney 
of Col. Hartley's Eleventh Pennsylvania regiment), "com- 
mander of the fort, and belonging to Col. Hartley's regiment of 
the Pennsylvania line. Continued at said fort until about the 
first of June, 1779, during which time had a number of skir- 
mishes with the Indians. In May the Indians, thirty-five in 
number, made an attack on some families that lived one mile 
from the fort and took three families prisoners, twenty-two in 
number. Information having been received at the fort. Ensign 
Thornbury (Ensign Francis Thornbury of the Lieut. Cols. Com- 
pany afterwards transferred to Third Pennsylvania) was sent 
out by the captain in pursuit of the Indians with twenty sol- 
diers, myself and three others of the citizens also went, making 
twenty-four. We came up with them — a sharp engagement en- 
sued, which lasted about thirty minutes, during which time we 
had four men killed and five wounded out the twenty-four. As 
we were compelled to retreat to the fort, leaving our dead on 
the ground, the Indians took theip scalps. During our engage- 
ment with the Indians the prisoners before mentioned made 
their escape and got safe to the fort. The names of the heads 
of those families taken prisoners as aforesaid were Bartlet 
Kamey, Christopher Forrow and Joseph Dewey; the first 
named, Bartley Ramey, was killed by the Indians. Soon after 
the aforesaid engagement in June, I entered the boat depart- 



ment, boats having been built at Middletown, Dauphin county, 
called Continental boats made for the purpose of transporting 
the baggage, provisions, etc., of Genl. Sullivan's army, which 
was on its march to destroy the Indian towns in the lake coun- 
try, in the State of New York. I steered one of these boats to 
Tioga Point, where we discharged our loading and I returned 
to Fort Jenkins in August, where I found our family. The In- 
dians still continued to be troublesome; my father thought it 
advisable to leave the country and go to a place of more safety. 
We left the Susquehanna, crossed the mountains to North- 
ampton county, in the neighborhood of Bethlehem, this being 
the fall of 1779. Nathan Beach says our family Eecord says I 
was born July, 1763, near a place now called Hudson, conse- 
quently he was at that time but little past sixteen." Show- 
ing the development of the boys of that period into men under 
the pressure of the circumstances in which they were placed, 
his case is not an exceptional one. 

Fort Jenkins, built in the fall of 1777 or early spring of 1778, 
was garrisoned by about thirty men under Col. Hartley. Col. 
Adam Hubley, Jr., who succeeded him, marched the regiment 
away, when County Lieut. Col. Hunter furnished a few men 
who, with the citizens of the neighborhood held the fort until 
the arrival of Col. Ludwig Weltner with the German Battalion 
about the latter part of 1779, on their return from the Sullivan 
campaign. After remaining at Wilkes-Barre on guard for some 
time, Weltner's sturdy Germans held the post until the 5th or 
6th of September, 1780, when, on the attack on Fort Bice by 
250 or 300 Tories and Indians, the garrison was withdrawn to 
go to the support of Fort Eice and Fort Augusta. 

On failure to capture the fort, the Tories and Indians broke 
into smaller parties, overrun the country with tomahawk and 
fire. One large company moved east by end of the Nob Moun- 
tain to the river ; finding F5rt Jenkins abandoned they set fire 
to it and to the buildings in the neighborhood on the 9th of 
September; they commenced to cut down the orchard planted 
by Mr. Jenkins before the Bevolution. It is supposed their at- 
tention was called from this by news of the approach of Capt. 
Klader with a company of Northampton county militia, when 
they suddenly decamped, crossed the river in the neighbor- 


hood of now Berwick, went on to Sugarloaf, in Luzerne county, 
where they ambuscaded the militia, killed or captured the 
greater portion of them, broke up the expedition, relieved 
their Tory friends of fear of capture and expulsion of their 
families. The Indians are said to have passed up east of Wy- 
oming to their homes in the lake country. Fort Jenkins, from 
the many raids in its neighborhood, shows to have been much 
in the way of the Indians. 


Lieut. Moses Van Campen says, ''Early in the month of 
April, 1778, he was ordered to go with his men up the North 
Branch of the Susquehanna river to the mouth of Fishing 
creek and follow up this three miles to a compact settlement, 
located in that region, and build a fort for the reception 
of the inhabitants in case of an attack from the Indians. 
News had come thus early of their having visited the outer 
line of settlements and of their committing depredations, so 
that terrified messengers were arriving almost daily, bringing 
the sad news of houses burned, victims scalped and of families 
carried into captivity. 

"It was no time to be idle; a few days, it might be a few 
hours, and the savage might be amongst those whom he was ap- 
pointed to guard and repeat these scenes of cruelty and blood. 
He and his men, his command of twenty men, who, as well as 
himself, were familiar with the country, expert in the use of 
the rifle and acquainted with the Indian modes of warfare, 
without delay they entered vigorously upon the work, selecting 
a site for the fort on the farm of Mr. Wheeler (hence, when 
completed, it was called Fort Wheeler). It was built of 
stockades and sufficiently large to accommodate all the fami- 
lies of the neighborhood. Anticipating an early approach of 
the foe, they worked with a will to bring the fort to completion 
or at least into a condition that would afford some protection 
in case of an attack. The Indians, in approaching the border 


settlements, usually struck upon the head waters of some of the 
streams upon which settlers were located and followed them 
down through valley or mountain defile until they came near a 
white man's house, when they would divide so as to fall in 
small companies upon different habitations at the same time. 
^'Before the fort was completed a runner came flying with the 
speed of the wind to announce the approach of a large party of 
savages. The inhabitants gathered into the fort with quick 
and hasty rush, taking with them what valuables they could, 
and leaving their cheerful homes to the undisputed sway of the 
enemy. Very soon the Indians came prowling around under 
cover of the woods and all at once, with wild yells, burst forth 
upon the peaceful farmhouses of the settlement. Fortunately, 
the inmates were not there to become victims of the toma- 
hawk and scalping knife. From the elevated position of the 
fort the inhabitants could see their dwellings entered, their 
feather beds and blankets carried out and scattered around 
with frantic cries and very soon after the flame and smoke 
leap to the tops of their houses and, finally, the whole settle 
down into a quiet heap of ashes. The Indians spent most of 
the day in pillaging and burning houses, some of them made 
an attack on the fort but to little purpose. Van Campen and 
his men were actively engaged in preparing for a vigorous de- 
fence in case of an attack to storm their unfinished works. 
They were successful in surrounding the fort at a distance of 
four rods with a barricade "made with brush and stakes, the 
ends sharpened and locked into each other so that it was diffi- 
cult to remove them and almost impossible for one to get 
through. The Indians, seeing this obstruction, were disposed 
to fire at them from a distance, and keep concealed behind the 
bushes. Their shots were promptly returned and a brisk firing 
was kept up all the time till evening. It was expected that 
the Indians would renew the attack the next morning and, as 
the ammunition of the fort was nearly expended. Van Campen 
sent two of his men to Fort Jenkins, about eight miles distant,, 
on the Susquehanna, who returned next morning before dawn 
of day with a plentiful supply of powder and lead. The re- 
maining hours of darkness were spent in running bullets and 
in making needed preparation for the encounter they were 


looking for on the approaching day. They judged from what 
they knew of the superior force of the enemy and from the ac- 
tivity already displayed that the struggle would be severe." 
In the morning they found the enemy had disappeared. "The 
Indians, not liking the preparations made to receive them, re- 
tired, leaving blood on the ground, but nothing else that 
would indicate their loss. But the Indians, not satisfied with 
this visit made another attempt to surprise this fort in the 
month of June. On one evening in the month of June," says 
Lieut. Van Campen, "just at the time when the women and 
girls were milking their cows, a sentinel called my attention to 
a movement in the bushes not far off, which I soon discovered 
to be a party of Indians making their way to the cattle yard. 
There was no time to be lost. I immediately selected ten of 
my sharpshooters and, under cover of a rise of ground, crept 
between them and the milkers. On ascending the ridge we 
found ourselves within pistol shot of our lurking foes. I fired 
first and killed the leader; this produced an instant panic 
among the party, and they all flew away like a flock of birds. 
A volley from. my men did no further execution; it only made 
the woods echo with the tremendous roar of their rifles; it 
sounded such an unexpected alarm in the ears of the honest 
dairy women that they were still more terribly frightened than 
the Indians. They started upon their feet, screamed aloud 
and ran with all their might, fearful lest the enemy should be 
upon them. In the mean time the milk pails flew in every di- 
rection and the milk was scattered to the winds. The best 
runner got in first." Lieut. Van Campen appears to have made 
Fort Wheeler his headquarters this season when not engaged 
in scouting. After the Sullivan campaign, in the fall of 1779, 
when Van Campen returned to Fort Wheeler, his father living 
there — ^leaving there late in March, 1780. 

Fort Wheeler, the traditions of the many descendants of the 
men who occupied the fort say, was not abandoned but held by 
hardy settlers, when not garrisoned by troops and that it is 
the only one of its date of the line in front of Fort Augusta 
^ that was not destroyed. Of cource, I do not include McClure, 
Rice or Swartz, as they were built later. Near here lived 
Peter Meelick, who served as one of the committee of safety 


for this Wyoming township from its institution until super- 
ceded by another system. 

There is nothing to-day to indicate where the fort stood ex- 
cept the spring is there. Mr. William Oreveling, who owns the 
property, says man^^ years ago he ploughed up the fire place. 

O. B. Melick, Esq., of Bloomsburg, says the place his grand- 
father, the Peter Meelick above named, and his father fixed 
upon as the site of Fort Wheeler is the same as that shown by 
Mr. Creveling. Mr. Theodore McDowell, since dead, showed 
the same site as the one he and his comrades when boys used 
to visit as the remains of Fort Wheeler. The grave yard, 
where the soldiers and others were buried, about thirty rods 
from the site, I regret to say, is not cared for. There is not a 
dissenting voice as to the site, but a unanimity rarely found. 

Mr. Isaiah Wheeler, on whose land the fort was built, and 
whose dwelling the stockades enclosed, was a settler who came 
here from the State of New Jersey, and some accounts say he 
died and was buried here. Col. Joseph Salmon, a man of 
prominence as a scout and of extraordinary courage in these 
times, when examples of courage were not rare, married one 
of his daughters. It is said an open manly rivalry existed be- 
tween Van Campen and Salmon for her hand, Avhen Salmon 
distanced the lieutenant and won the damsel. 

Mr. Joseph Crawford, an old and respected citizen of Orange- 
ville, says his father, John Crawford, was born in Fort Wheeler 
soon after its completion in 1778, being the second white child 
born in this vicinity. 


Col. Freeze says, the year 1777 and the next four or five fol- 
lowing, were years of great activity and danger in the Indian 
fighting in and about what was originally Columbia county. 
The regular military authorities had done their best to protect 
the frontiers of the Pennsylvania settlements, but they had 

*A marker was placed here on 10 Apr., igOT, by Fort McClure Chapter, D. A. R. 


few officers and fewer men to spare from the Federal army, 
and therefore, the defense of the settlements fell upon the 
local heroes and heroines of the Forts of the Susquehanna. 

A chain of forts, more or less protective had been constructed, 
reaching from the West Branch to the North Branch of the 
Susquehanna, comprising Fort Muncy, Fort Freeland, Fort 
Montgomery, Bosley's Mills, Fort Wheeler and Fort Jenkins. 
The great war path through the valley, known as ''The Fish- 
ing Creek Path," started on the flats, near Bloomsburg, on 
the North Branch, up Fishing creek to Orangeville, on to near 
Long Pond, now called Ganoga Lake, thence across to Ttink- 
hannock creek.* It was on this very path that Van Campen, 
the most prominent Indian fighter on the North Branch was 
captured, in 1780, and no man better than he knew the great 
necessities of the section. 

The destruction of Fort Jenkins in 1780 had exposed the 
right flank of the protecting forts and the Indian marauders 
made wild work among our defenseless frontiers. On his (Van 
Campen's) return from captivity he assisted in organizing a 
new force, repairing the forts dismantled or abandoned, and 
also stockaded the residence of Mrs. James McClure, and the 
place was thereafter known as McOlure's Fort. It is on the 
north bank of the North Branch of the river Susquehanna, 
and is reported to have occupied the exact site of the present 
dwelling house of the late Douglas Hughes, below Blooms- 
burg, about one mile above the mouth of Fishing creek. It 
was an accessible point and gave the command of the military 
line across the river valley. It became the headquarters for 
stores and expeditions, and was an important point so long as 
it was necessary to maintain fortifications on the river. 

It does not seem to have ever been formally attacked, but 
there are traditions of lurking savages and hurried embark- 
ings upon boats and canoes and the protection of the wide 

How thrilling soever these adventures may have been they 
are now forgotten. 

Note.— Col. Freeze Is mistaken ; the Indians with Van Campen and Pence, followed 
the path up the east branch of Fishing Creel?, known as Huntingdon Creek, and in 
Huntington township, fired on Col. John Franklin's men, slightly wounding Capt. Ran- 
Bora, as related by Moses Van Campen. J. M. B. 


''Time rolls Ms ceaseless course; the race of yore, 
Who danced our infancy upon their knee, 

And told our marvelling boyhood legends store 
Of their strange ventures happ'd by land or sea, 
How are they blotted from the things that be ! 


Fort Bosley was situated in the forks of the Chillisquaqua, 
at Washington ville, Derry township, Montour county, and 
was the grist mill of a Mr. Bosley, who moved here from Mary- 
land a few years before the Revolution, bringing his slaves 
with him. He built the mill, it is said, in 1773 ; it is supposed 
he fortified (stockaded) the mill in 1777; upon the Indians be- 
coming troublesome it was garrisoned by troops and recognized 
by the military authorities as of importance. After the fall 
of Fort Freeland it became more so, holding the forks of 
the Chillisquaque and defending the stream below it. 

The Chillisquaque Valley and its surroundings are among 
the most beautiful in the State. At Washingtonville, the main 
stream is formed by one considerable branch coming from the 
Muncy Hills, following through the rich lime stone lands to 
the south. The east branch here joins it, making a fine stream 
that then flows southwesterly to the river. This great scope 
of fine arable lands attracted settlers early, Bosley's Mills be- 
came a necessity, and, situated at is was, within the forks 
about sixty to eighty rods above the junction of the branches, 
on the east bank of the North Branch of these streams. It 
soon became widely known ; roads and paths led to it as a cen- 
tral point, and on the Indians becoming troublesome and the 
mill fortified, it became a haven of refuge at which the wives 
and families could be placed in safety at alarms, while the 
husband and father scouted for intelligence of the foe or de- 
fended the fort. As Bosley's Mills do not appear to have had 
a heavy garrison of troops (twenty men at most) at any time, 
the garrison was most probably augmented by the near set- 
tlers, of which there was quite a number. It must have been 




strong, as we have no account of any attack on the place, lying 
as it does below the great war path through or over the Muncy 
Hills, it must have been looked upon by the foe as strong. 

Col. Hunter to Prest. Eeed, dated Fort Augusta, June 26, 
1779, says: "Your favor of ye 2d Inst. I received by Mr. Martin 
and I am sorry to acquaint you it was not in my power to send 
any of the Eanging Company to assist at Guarding the stores 
up here from Estherton, as what few men Capt. Kemplon had 
under his command was stationed at Bosley's Mills on Chilis- 
quaqua." (See Penna. Archives, vol. vii, p. 510). 

Lieut. Col. Weltner to Board of War, dated Northumber- 
land, April 9, 1780, says: "I have this moment received an ex- 
press from the West branch, about 12 miles from this Town 
that the Indians have killed and scalped one man and two chil- 
dren, took one woman prisoner, but she happily made her es- 
cape from them in the night. The country is very much 
alarmed, and likely to go to the flight as they cannot be sup- 
plied with provisions, ammunition or flints, as these commodi- 
ties being so very scarce. I have manned three material out- 
posts, viz : Fort Jenkins, Fort Montgomery and Bosley's Mills. 
It is out of my power to scatter my men any more, as I have 
scarcely as many in Town as will man 2 pieces of artillery." 

The site of the old mill is recognized readily by the race and 
mill site and is on the land of Jesse Umstead, Jr., at the lower 
end of the built up town of to-day. The head race has been 
continued on across the road and utilizes the old dam site and 
head race for a modern mill. 


Fort Rice, at Montgomery's, sometimes written of by one 
name by the military and other authorities and at another by 
the other until it was supposed to indicate two separate forts. 
It is located in Lewis township, Northumberland county. Pa. 

In 1769 William Patterson patented seven hundred acres of 
land on which Fort Rice was situated. On account of its 
handsome appearance and the fertility of its soil he named it 


Paradise. Meginness is correct in saying, "For rural beauty, 
fertility of soil and charming surroundings, with healthful- 
ness, it is not excelled by any district in the United States, 
and the name Paradise was worthily bestowed." The country 
is gently rolling and under a high state of cultivation. Neat 
farm mansions with capacious barns are seen in all directions, 
and what adds to the beauty of the scene are the open groves 
of oak and other hard wood, free from underbrush, and a regu- 
larity almost equal to being planted by the hand of man, 
among which scores of gray squirrels may^be seen sporting in 
the woods without fear of the pot hunters or poachers. Mr. 
Patterson exchanged this Paradise farm with John Mont- 
gomery, of Paxtang, in 1771, for his farm in that settlement. 
The descendants of John Montgomery still reside on these 
lands. The Montgomery family became widely known for their 
ability and integrity. At the time of the capture of Fort 
Freeland, July 28, 1779, John Montgomery living here, heard 
the firing; mounting two of his young sons on horses he sent 
them to the top of a hill to "learn the cause of the firing. On 
arriving at the brow of the liill overlooking the creek they 
discovered the fort on fire and a fight raging in the timber 
some distance below. They returned and reported what they 
had seen; he loaded up his family in a wagon, with what pro- 
vision and clothing they could carry and hurriedly drove across 
the country to the cabin of William Davis. After informing 
him what was going on he gathered up his family and proceeded 
to Fort Augusta." — (Meginness). 

The Indians burned Mr. Montgomery's house; he took his 
family to Paxtang, where they remained to the close of the 
war. The Indians burned the house and everything; in con- 
sequence of the fall of Fort Freeland it became necessary to 
fill its place by another. McClung's place, which, I under- 
stand, was between Freeland and the Montgomery farm, was 
first selected, but it was decided to be impracticable, when, 
finally the Montgomery farm was selected, and here Captain 
Eice, of Col. Weltner's German Regiment, erected it in the fall 
and winter of 1779 and 80. It was built around and enclosed 
the fine spring at the burned residence of John Montgomery, 
and remains to-day a lasting tribute to the excellency of the 


work of Capt. Kice's Pennsylvania Germans. First, building a 
stockade for security they completed it, building it out of sur- 
face limestone. They occupied and defended it ably. The 
only attack made on the fort itself we have any record of oc- 
curred in the beginning of September, 1780. A letter from Col. 
Samuel Hunter, at Sunbury, Sept. 21, 1780, found in Vol. viii, 
p. 567, Penna. Archives, saying : ''We were alarmed by a large 
party of the enemy making their appearance in our county on 
the 6th inst. They came first to a small fort that Col. Welt- 
ner's troops had erected on the headwaters of the Chilisquake, 
called Fort Eice, about thirteen miles from Sunbury (17), when 
the German Kegiment marched off the enemy attacked the 
fort about sundown and fired very smartly. The garrison re- 
turned the fire with spirit, which made them withdraw a little 
off, and in the night they began to set fire to a number of 
houses and stacks of grain which they consumed. In the 
meantime our militia had collected to the number of one hun- 
dred men under the command of Col. John Kelly, who marched 
to the relief of the Garrison, and arrived there next day. 
The people in the Garrison acquainted Col. Kelly that there 
must be two hundred and fifty or three Hundred of the Enimy, 
which he did not think prudent to engage without being 
Beinforced. The confusion this put the inhabitants in, it was 
not easy to collect a party equal to fight the savages. I im- 
mediately sent off an express to Col. Purdy on Juneate whom 
I heard was marching to the Frontiers of Cumberland County 
with the militia, he came as quick as possible to our assistance 
with one Hundred and ten of the militia and about Eighty 
Volunteers, which was no small Keinforcement to us. Genl. 
Potter Just coming home from camp at this critical time came 
up to Sunbury and took command of the party that went in 
Quest of the Enimy. But previous to his marching, discharge 
the Volunteers as he concluded by the information he had re- 
ceived from spyes we had out that the enemy did not exceed 
one Hundred and fifty and that they had withdrawn from the 
inhabitants to some Kemote place. General Potter, However, 
marched on to Muncy Hills, but was a little Baffled by the 
information of their route and did not come on their track till 
the 13th and followed on about 50 miles up fishing creek, the 


road tlie enemy took, but finding tbey had got too far ahead 
returned here the 17th inst. The enemy got but one scalp 
and one prisoner (The Colonel did not know of their having 
committed the Sugarloaf Massacre when he wrote). We all 
concluded the enimy had gone off, but on the 18th there was 
a small party made their appearance on the West Branch 
about fourteen miles above this place, they killed one man and 
wounded another, and killed their horses they had in the plow, 
which plainly shows they have scattered into small parties 
to Harras the inhabitants, which I am afraid will prevent the 
people from getting crops put in the ground this fall. When 
the German Kegiment marched off from here I give orders 
for the Frontiers Compauys to embody and keep one-fourth 
of the men Constantly Keconnoitering. After garrisoning 
Fort Jenkins, Fort Kice, and Fort Schwartz with twenty men 
in each of them, this was the only method I could think of en- 
couraging the people as we were left to our own exertions. 
Only about thirty of Capt. McCoys company of Volunteers 
from Cumberland County, until the 10th Inst., that two com- 
panies of militia came here from the same county in the whole 
about eighty men. When I received the intelligence of a large 
party of savages and tories coming against Fort Rice, I give 
orders to evacuate Fort Jenkins as I did not look upon it to 
be tenable, which is since burned by the Enimy, and would 
have shared the same had the men staid there on act. of the 
Buildings that were adjoining it, &c." 

As to the numbers attacking Fort Rice, Genl. Potter (Vol. 
viii, p. 563), says: "Since I wrote the above I am informed by 
Capt. Robeson that a large body of the enemy crossed the Mon- 
cey Hills near one Evses and went up the Moncey Creek so that 
it is leekly (likely) that the number that was down amounted 
to 300 men — they carried off a large number of Cattle and 

John Montgomery returned with his family on the return of 
peace. Finding the buildings of his farm destroyed and a good 
strong stone house supplying its place; he at once occupied the 
fort, which, with additions, made him a comfortable home for 
years. Capt. Rice leaving the country, Montgomery remained 
and it soon became known as Montgomery's fort. The old 


actors in the bloody drama enacted in this region having 
passed away, Fort Rice was forgotten except as found in the 
old records, which placed it thirteen miles from Sunbury and 
on the head waters of the Chillisquaque — both erroneous. Fort 
Rice was lost as to site to the present generation. After con- 
siderable research I became satisfied Fort Rice and Montgomery 
must mean the same place. 

Hon. John Blair Linn, of Bellefonte, at this time sent me a 
newspaper cutting, recording an examination of the subject 
by J. F. Wolfinger, of Milton, in about 1885 (since dead). I 
have found his statement correct in the main and here present 
it: ^'Our ancestors and first settlers on the West and North 
branches of the Susquehanna River had two great runaway 
times from the Indians. The first took place in 1778 and the 
second one in 1779. * * » * John F. Mont- 

gomery must certainly have known how and why this stone 
building was built over his spring, but as he died in Novem- 
ber, 1792, and left no writings with any person to show that 
the German Battalion had built it and had a fort and barracks 
standing close by his spring (falling into the error that there 
was a Fort Rice and a Fort Montgomery close together, he 
mistook the defences erected to protect the soldiers and their 
arms and commissary while building Fort Fice for the Fort 
Montgomery which Rice is). The knowledge of these facts 
was entirely unknown to the coming generations of people in 
this beautiful region of country called Paradise, and, hence, 
a great many different stories very naturally arose as to when 
the old stone building in question was built and by whom it 
was built and why it had small port holes in its walls and the 
like. July 13, 1885. On this day I visited this old Fort Mont- 
gomery or Rice ground, accompanied by my old friend, the 
Hon. David B. Montgomery, a grandson of the above John F. 
Montgomery, and who, I mean David B. M. has for many years 
resided about a hundred and fifty yards south of the spot. 
Spring House Buildings — A Grand relic. This building is 26x 
23 feet outside measurement and is two stories (and an Attic 
of 4 feet) high, being 22 feet high from the ground up to its 
square on the west side and on a part of its northern end, it is 
now used as, and forms in its lower story a splendid spring 


house for keeping milk, cream, butter, meats and the like in a 
very nice and cool condition and it afforded me a good deal of 
pleasure to have a drink from its clear, cool and refreshing 

^'The walls of the fort are two feet thick and are composed 
of rather small dull colored limestone, as no quarries were 
open at that early day to get stones of a large size and of a 
clear strong blue color. But its walls are still solid and in a 
very good condition, considering their age and the hasty man- 
ner in which Capt. Kice's German soldiers made them. The 
door to the spring was and still is in the south end of the 
building and it had when built in 1779 a wooden stairway that 
extended from the ground on its eastern side up to the second 
story, where there was another door for the purpose of storing 
away there for safe keeping such things as Capt. Eice and his 
men needed for their use and comfort. But this stairway is 
gone long ago and the doorway on the second story was also 
changed long ago into a window, but on the east side it had 
and still has two windows with twelve panes of glass in each 
window and all the windows were of the old-fashioned sort, 
7Jx8J inches in size, but one or two of these smaller sized 
windows have been walled shut with bricks. The northern 
end of the second story (third story or attic) still has two small 
port holes made there, no doubt, to enable soldiers standing 
there to stick their guns through the holes and fire at any In- 
dians that might come there with an evil design, but it is prob- 
able that every other side of the building had smaller port 
holes for this same purpose, but they are all gone now except- 
ing the two just noticed. Mr. Henry Kaup, who lives in a fine 
two-story brick house on the east side of the spring house, 
called my attention to the fact that a smooth-faced stone in 
the central part of the southern end wall and about eighty feet 
above the ground, contained on its face the letters W. K. that 
were so thinly cut into the stone as to make them after so long 
a time now have but a faint appearance. As W. and E. are the 
initials of Capt. William Eice, I now found the evidence strong 
enough to satisfy me that Fort Eice, Montgomery, you can 
call it now by either of those names just as you please, actu- 
ally stood here and nowhere else, on the west side of the road 




•^A „■■ ■■■, , ,... .. . *.' 2 «. ^, 




" f--*«f .5* jv i 



that runs in front of Kaup's house up north to and beyond Tur- 
botville. Some time after John F. Montgomery had returned 
from his runaway from the Indians, he built a stone addition 
to the northern end of the above described spring house (fort) 
building, an addition large enough to make a fine eating room 
for his family and work hands, and then to make things handy 
for the women he cut a hole through the wall of the fort and 
put a door there to go into the spring house for milk, butter, 
&c. This additional room was torn away long ago and the 
above doorway was walled up again but a portion of the 
plastering of this room still sticks to the northern wall of the 
old fort. Capt. Bice's old building aforesaid thus forms a 
grand and very interesting relic of our olden time building 
that every man in the county should be proud of and feel a 
great pleasure in visiting." I visited the place in 1894 with 
James I. Higbee, of Watsontown, and Mr. Yarrington, of the 
same place and secured a picture of probably the best pre- 
served fort of its date in the State. I found it two stories and 
an attic of four feet or more at the square of the building, 
could recognize the old port holes in the walls of the second 
story. The old-fashioned chimney was in the northern end, 
the spring covered about half the space inside the walls of the 
lower story. We hung "Old Glory" out of one of the old port 
holes, I suppose the first time since the close of the Eevolution. 
Capt. Kice^s name was Frederick William Kice. 


The sad history of this death trap is well and widely 
known, on Warrior run, about four miles east of Watson- 
town and one mile east of well-known Warrior Run church; 
it was stockaded in the fall of 1778 by Jacob Freeland and 
his neighbors, enclosing a large two-story log house of Jacob 
Freeland, as many of the descendants of the early settlers 
still live in this region and the bloody ending of the place has 
kept it well in remembrance. Jacob Freeland here built a 
mill in 1773 and 1774, having brought the iron from New Jer- 


sej. Mr. Enoch Everitt, of Watsontown, now owns the fine 
farms on which it was located. A depression on the yard to 
the large brick farm house marks the cellar to the site of the 
old Free] and house. A fine spring of water near the house is 
still used by the farm house of to-day. In Vol. xii, Penna. Ar- 
chives, p. 364, is found the recollections of Mary V. Derickson. 
born in the Fort Freeland, written in 1855, seventy-five years 
after the occurrence, but is remarkably clear. John Blair 
Linn, in his Annals of Buffalo Valley, and John F. Meginness, 
in his ''Otzinachson," gives us full particulars, drawn largely 
from the Archives. 

Mary V. Derickson writes : "Sir : In compliance with your 
request, I will give (so far as my memory will serve) all the ac- 
count of the early settlers and occupants of Fort Freeland. 
The fort was situated on the Warrior run creek, about 4-1 
miles above where it empties into the Susquehanna river. In 
the year 1772, Jacob Freeland, Samuel Gould, Peter Vincent, 
John Vincent and his son, Cornelius Vincent, and Timothy 
Williams, with their respective families cut their way through 
and settled within some two miles of where the fort was after- 
wards built. They were from Essex county. New Jersey. 
Jacob Freeland brought the irons for a grist mill, and in the 
years 1773 and 1774 built one on Warrior Eun. There were 
several more families moved up from the same place, and they 
lived on friendly terms with the Indians until '77, when they 
began to be troublesome and to remove their own families, in 
the summer of '78, they had to leave the country, and when 
they returned in the fall they picketed (stockaded) around a 
large two-story log house (which had been built by Jacob 
Freeland for his family), enclosing half an acre of ground; the 
timbers were set close and were about twelve feet high; 
the gate was fastened by bars inside. Into this fort, or house 
the families of Jacob Freeland, Sen., and Jacob Freeland, Jr., 
John Little, Michael Freeland, John Vincent, Peter Vincent, 
George Pack, Cornelius Vincent, Moses Kirk, James Durham, 
Samuel Gould, Isaac Vincent and David Vincent, all gathered 
and lived there that winter. In November George Pack, son 
of George Pack, was born, and on the 20th May, George, son 
of Isaac Vincent, was born, on the 10th of February, 1779, I 


was born. My father was Cornelms Vincent. In the spring 
of '79, the men planted corn but were occasionally surprised 
with the Indians, but nothing serious occurred until the 21st 
day of July, as some of them w^ere at work in the corn field 
back of the fort, they were attacked by a party of Indians, 
about nine o'clock, A. M, and Isaac Vincent, Elias Freeland 
and Jacob Freeland, Jr., were killed and Benjamin Vincent 
and Michael Freeland were taken prisoners. Daniel Vincent 
was chased by them but he outran them and escaped by leaping 
a high log fence. When the Indians surprised them, Ben. 
Vincent (then ten years of age) hid in a furrow, but he thought 
he would be more secure by climbing a tree, as there was a 
woods near, but they saw him and took him a prisoner. He 
was ignorant of the fate of the others until about two o'clock 
P. M., when an Indian thrust a bloody scalp in his face and 
he knew it was his (and my) brother's Isaac's scalp. Nothing 
again occurred until the morning of the 29th about daybreak, 
as Jacob Freeland, Sen., was agoing out the gate he was shot 
and fell inside of the gate. The fort was surrounded by about 
three hundred British and Indians, commanded by Gapt. Mc- 
Donald. There were but 21 men in the fort and but little am- 
munition. Mary Kirk and Phoebe Vincent, commenced im- 
mediately and run all their spoons and plates into bullets; 
about nine o'clock there was a flag of truce raised, and John 
Little and John Vincent went out to capitulate, but could 
not agree. They had half an hour given to consult with those 
inside; at length they agreed that all who were able to bear 
arms should go as prisoners, and the old men and women and 
children set free, and the fort given up to plunder. They all 
left the fort by 12 o'clock P. M. Not one of them having eaten 
a bite that day and not a child was heard cry or ask for bread 
that day. They reached Northumberland, eighteen miles dis- 
tant, that night and there drew their rations, the first they 
had that day. When Mrs. Kirk heard the terms on which 
they were set free she put female clothes on her son William, 
a lad of 16, and he escaped with the women. Mrs. Elizabeth 
Vincent was a cripple; she could not walk. Her husband 
John Vincent, went to Capt. McDonald and told him of her sit- 
uation, and said if he had a horse that the Indians had taken 



from his son Peter the week before that she could ride about 
daylight next morning. The horse came to them; he had car- 
ried his wife to the lower end of the meadow, where they lay 
and saw the fort burned, and it rained so hard that night that 
she lay mid side in the water ; when the horse came he stripped 
the bark off a hickory tree and plainted a halter, set his wife 
on and led it to Northumberland, where there were wagons 
pressed to take them on down country. 

After the surrender of the forts Capts. Boone and Daugherty 
arrived with thirty men; supposing the fort still holding out 
they made a dash across Warrior run, when they were sur- 
rounded. Capt. Hawkins Boone and Capt. Samuel Daugherty, 
with nearly half the force were killed; the remainder broke 
through their enemies and escaped. Thirteen scalps of this 
party were brought into the fort in a handkerchief. Soon 
after this the fort was set fire to and burned down. The killed 
of the garrison and Boone's party, from best information, to 
be arrived at amounted to about twenty men, but two sndi 
men as Boone and Daugherty in such times were of more 
value to such a community than many common men. 

Thus ended Fort Freeland. Eobert Oovenhoven, the famous 
scout and Indian killer of the West Branch, had passed down 
ahead of this party of Tories and savages, giving notice of their 
approach, but it is said Fort Freeland did not get notice. Am- 
munition was hard to get, almost impossible sometimes to pro- 
cure, which may account for Fort Freeland being so short that 
the women had to run up their spoon and "pewter" plates, but 
one would suppose, if there was any head to the garrison after 
the attack of a few days before, when their loss was three 
killed and two captured, he would have caused them to be 
better prepared for another attack. 

Each succeeding generation on the Warrior run since the 
fall of Fort Freeland has pursued up the site of the place that 
no doubts exist in regard to it. 

The effect of the fall of Fort Freeland was disastrous to this 
region, accompanied as it was with the death of Boone, Daugh- 
erty and their brave comrades, and the desertion of Boone's 
Mills as a post of defence. It entirely uncovered Fort Au- 
gusta to the inroads of the enemy, Bosley's Mills alone, with 


its small garrison standing on the defensive on one flank liable 
to be overthrown when any considerable force of the enemy 
appeared before it. Colonel Hunter, holding his base with a 
force so feeble as to warrant a less courageous commander in 
calling in every man and gun for the protection of Augusta, 
as comparatively few persons remained to protect in his front, 
but holding what he had left. In November the German 
Battalion was sent him, counting about one hundred and 
twenty men, with which he secured his base, built Fort Eice 
and garrisoned it, and built Fort Swartz and also garrisoned it, 
as well as Fort Jenkins with thirty men, — with ten to fifteen 
militia at Bosley's Mills, and a few of the inhabitants to hold 
Wheeler, eighty to ninety men in all, besides his garrison of 
Augusta. At this date his left flank had been contracted from 
now Lock Haven to Milton, with his right weak but intact. 
Affairs did not improve much in this department to the close 
of the war in 1780. The right flanking fort was destroyed by 
the troops being withdrawn in an emergency, and some time 
elapsed before the flank was again protected by Fort McClue, 
at now Bloomsburg. 


Boone's Fort was erected on Muddy run, a short distance 
from the West Branch of the Susquehanna, on the east bank. 
It was a grist mill stockaded and owned by Capt. Hawkins 
Boone (a counsin to the famous Daniel Boone), and, accord- 
ing to Linn's Annals of Buffalo Valley, came originally from 
Exeter, Berks county. Soon after the consolidation of the 
12th regiment, Pennsylvania Line, into the 3d and 6th, Capt. 
Boone, Capt. Brady and Capt. Daugherty were mustered out 
of service and sent, at the urgent request of the people of the 
West Branch to lead their defence. Boone stockaded his mill 
and was assisted by his neighbors and troops in defending it. 
A large, hardy, brave, generous man, he appears to have been 
highly respected by those knowing him. His fall at Fort Free- 
land, in 1779, was a serious loss to the community, who looked 
to good results from his ability and experience; a confidence 


that was abruptly terminated by his bloody, but soldierly 
death, attempting to rescue his fellow man. 

Probably his loss was more of a public calamity than any 
man in the valley except his comrade in arms, Capt. John 

In rebuilding the Kemmerer (Boone) mill, the men employed 
dug down to the old foundations of the Boone mills, showing 
the present mills occupying the same site. It is about midway 
tween Milton and Watsontown. The Pennsylvania Ar- 
chives, Linn's Annals and Meginness' Otzinachson all show 
his ability and courage and the loss to the community by his 
death, as well as his assistant, Capt. Daugherty. After Boone's 
death his fortifications are not heard of.* 


Fort Swartz was built on the east bank of the West Branch, 
at the old Ferry, about a mile above Milton, a log structure, 
named in honor of Lieut. Christian Godfried Swartz, of Col. 
Weltner's German Battalion, who stockaded and defended it. 
It was built after the destruction of the forts above it on the 
river. It covered the river and its small garrison did some 
scouting duty. It was one of the three forts left standing 
from the North Branch to the West in the spring of 1780, viz : 
Wheeler, Kice and Swartz. It does not appear to have ever 
been attacked but was a sturdy little sentinel to challenge and 
give notice of anything passing down the river towards North- 
umberland and Sunbury. After the German Battalion left, it 
was garrisoned by the militia, when defended by any other 
than citizens. (In the History of the Forts, Penna. Archives, 
vol. xii, Appendix, p. 461, is "All we find about this fort is in a 
letter from Genl. Potter, dated Sunbury, September 18, 1780, 
in which he says I discharged the Volunteers that came from 
Cumberland and as soon as we could get provisions, which 

*The Indians taking part in this massacre were led by Hiokatoo, the Seneca Chief who 
was married to Mary Jemison, the Scotch-Irish gix*l who was captured by the Indians on 
Marsh Creek, Adams County, Pa., in 1758. She was taken first to Fort Duquesne, and 
then down the Ohio River, where slie was married to an Indian named Shenanjee. This 
husband died, and with her little baby she went to the Genesee Valley, where she later 
married Hiokatoo, by whom she had a number of children. She is now buried in the 
beautiful Letchworth Park, New York, near the present town of Portage. A beautiful 
monument surmounted by a bronze statue of herself, now marks her grave. Consult, 
Beaver's "Narrative of the Life of Mary Jemison, Seventh edition, 1910. (The eighth 
edition is now being prepared). 


was the next morning, I marched the remainder, consisting of 
170 men, upon the West branch to Fort Swarts. I then went 
to Col. Kelly, who lay at the mouth of White Deer creek with 
80 men." On the 21st of September he again writes: ''I gave 
orders to the frontier companys to embody and keep one-fourth 
of the men constantly reconnoitering, after garrisoning Fort 
Jenkins, Fort Kice and Fort Swarts, with 20 men in each of 
them." Day says Fort Swartz was one mile above Milton. 
Meginness says at the ferry, about one mile above Milton, a 
log structure garrisoned by and named for Major Christian 
Godfried Swartz, of Col. Weltner's regiment. 


Fort Brady was the dwelling house of Capt. John Brady, 
at Muncy, stockaded by digging a trench about four feet deep 
and setting logs side by side, filling in with earth and ramming 
down solid to hold the palisade in place. They were usually 
twelve feet high from the ground, with smaller timbers run- 
ning transversely at the top, to which they were pinned, mak- 
ing a solid wall. Capt. Brady's house was a large one for the 
time; he had been a captain in the Scotch-Irish and German 
forces west of the Alleghenies under Col. Henry Bouquet in 
his expedition, which Dr. Egle tells us composed the Bouquet 
expeditions, and had received a grant of land with the other 
officers in payment for his services. He was a captain in the 
12th Pennsylvania regiment in the Revolution and was wound- 
ed at the battle of the Brandywine. His son, John, a lad of 
fifteen, stood in the ranks with a rifle and was also wounded. 
Sam, his eldest son, was in another division and assisted to 
make the record of Parr's and Morgan's riflemen world 
famous. The West Branch, in its great zeal for the cause of the 
colonist, had almost denuded itself of fighting men for the 
Continental army. Consequently, on the breaking out of In- 
dian hostilities a cry for help went up from these sparsely 
settled frontiers. Genl. Washington recognized the necessity 
without the ability to relieve them. He, however, did all in 


his power by mustering out such officers as would be likely to 
organize such defence and restore confidence to these justly 
alarmed communities, distributing the men among other regi- 
ments. Capt. John Brady was one of these officers; he was 
mustered out soon after the battle of Brandywine, came home 
and in the fall of 1777 stockaded Fort Brady. He was active, 
energetic, honest, devoid of fear and kind. A man of promi- 
nence and a natural leader of men. Fort Brady at once be- 
came a place of refuge to the families within reach in times of 
peril and continued so until after the death of the valiant cap- 
tain and the driving off of the inhabitants. Oapt. Brady was 
killed by the Indians at Wolf run, above Muncy, April 11, 
1779. Meginness, in his History of the West Branch, says: 
"One of the saddest incidents of these troublesome times was 
the assassination of Capt. John Brady by a concealed foe on 
the 11th of April, 1779. He was living with his family at his 
fort, as it was termed, at Muncy, and was taking an active 
part against the Indians. On this fatal day he made a trip up 
the river to Wallis' for the purpose of procuring supplies. He 
took a wagon and guard with him, and, after securing a quan- 
tity of provisions started to return in the afternoon. He was 
riding a fine mare and was some distance in the rear of the 
wagon. Peter Smith, the same unfortunate man who lost his 
family in the bloody massacrue of the 10th of June, and on 
whose farm young James Bradj was mortally wounded and 
scalped by the Indians on the 8th of August, was walking by 
his side. W^hen within a short distance of his home, Brady 
suggested to Smith the propriety of his taking a different route 
from the one the wagon had gone, as it was shorter. They 
traveled together until they came to a small stream of water 
(Wolf run), where the other road came in. Brady observed: 
This would be a good place for Indians to hide; Smith replied 
in the affirmative, when three rifls cracked and Brady fell 
from his horse dead. As his frightened mare was about to run 
past Smith he caught her by the bridle and, springing on her 
back, was carried to Brady's Fort in a few minutes. The report 
of the rifles were plainly heard at the fort and caused great 
alarm. Several persons rushed out, Mrs. Brady among them, 
and, seeing Smith coming at full speed, anxiously enquired 


where Oapt. Brady was. It is related that Smith, in a high 
state of excitement, replied : "In Heaven or hell, or on his way 
to Tioga," meaning he was either killed or a prisoner by the 
Indians. The Indians in their haste did not scalp him, nor 
plunder him of his gold watch, some money and his commis- 
sion, which he carried in a green bag suspended from his neck. 
His body was brought to the fort and soon after interred in 
the Muncy burying ground, some four miles from the fort (now 
Hairs station, P. & E. R. E.) over Muncy creek." His grave is 
suitably marked at Hall's, while a cenotaph in the present 
Muncy cemetery of thirty feet high, raised by J. M. M. Gernerd 
by dollar subscription, attests the lively interest still felt by 
the community in one who devoted himself to the protection of 
the valley when brave active men and good counselors were 
needed. Of his sons, Capt. Samuel Brady, a sharpshooter of 
Parr's and Morgan's rifles, fought on almost every battlefield 
of the Revolution, from Boston and Saratoga to Germantown, 
can speak of his deeds aes a scout and Indian fighter Western 
and Northern Pennsylvania, which West Virginia and Ohio 
attest. To the Indian he became a terror, and he fully avenged 
the blood of his sire shed at Wolf run, on the West Branch 
o'f the Susquehanna, that beautiful day in April, 1779, at the 
bloody fight of Brady's Bend, on the Allegheny, where, with 
his own hand, he slew his father's murderer and avenged his 
brother James, the "Young Captain of the Susquehanna," in 
a hundred other fights. Of his second son, James, killed by 
the Indians at the Loyal Sock, whose career bid fair to be as 
brilliant as his elder brother's, but unfortunately cut off at 
its commencement. John, who, when but a boy of fifteen, going 
with his father and oldest brother to the battlefield of the 
Brandywine to bring back the horses, finding a battle on hand, 
took a rifle and stepped into the ranks and did manful duty, 
and was wounded. He is said to have served with Jackson 
at New Orleans in the War of 1812. William Perry Brady 
served on the northern borders in the same war, and at Perry's 
victory at Lake Erie, when volunteers were called, was the 
first to step out. 

Hon. John Blair Linn, at the dedication of the Brady moun- 
ment in 1879, one hundred years after the death of John 
Brady, said: "To the valley his loss was well nigh irrepar- 


able; death came to its defender, and ^Hell followed' hard 
after. In May, Buffalo Valley was overrun and the people 
left, on the 8th of July Smith's mills, at the mouth of the 
White Deer Creek were burned, and on the 17th Muncy valley 
was swept with the besom of destruction. Starrett's mills and 
all the principal houses in Muncy township burned, with Forts 
Muncy, Brady and Freeland, and Sunbury became the fron- 

And, in speaking of the fall of Oapt. Evan Eice Brady at 
South Mountain, in the war of '62, said : ''Four generations of 
the Bradys fought for this country, yet he was the first to fall 
in action." The site of Fort Brady adjoins the town of Muncy, 
on the south side of and near the built up portions of the town 
on lot owned by Mrs. Hayes. Until late years, a flag staff has 
stood, marking the site. Mr. J. M. M. Gernerd, the well- 
known antiquarian of Muncy, keeps a good lookout for the 
site. No questions as to its genuineness. 


Fort Muncy is located about half a mile above Hall's sta- 
tion, immediately on the P. & E. R. R., and about four miles 
from Muncy, and was built by Col. Thomas Hartley in 1778, at 
the urgent solicitation of Samuel Wallis, Esq., who had 
erected a stone mansion here in 1769. It stood a few hun- 
dred yards in front of the famous Hall's house of 1769. It 
was designed to be the most important stronghold next to Au- 
gusta, and was situated midway between that place and the 
farthest settlement up the river; it was a rising piece of 
ground at the foot of which was a fine spring of water, a large 
elm tree now hangs over the spring. A covered way led from 
the fort to this natural fountain as a protection to those who 
went there for water. When the extension of the Philadel- 
phia and Reading railroad was built to Williamsport, the ele- 
vation on which the fort stood was cut through. The exca- 
vation is quite deep and passengers cannot fail to notice it on 

♦Marked by D. A. R. 


account of the view of the Hall residence on the left being sud- 
denly shut off as the train dashes into the cut (in going up). 
Col. Hartley informs us that the bastions of the fort were 
built of fascines and clay and the curtains were protected by 
the stockades in which quarters for the garrison were placed. 
— (Maginness' Otzinachson, pages 484-5). 

One would understand from the many accounts that Fort 
Muncy had been destroyed twice. In the Penna. Archives, 
(Vol. xii, appendix, p. 418) . ^'The convoy arrived safely at Sun- 
bury, leaving the entire line of farms along the West branch 
to the ravages of the Indians. They destroyed Fort Muncy, 
but did not penetrate Sunbury." Shortly after the big run- 
away Col. Brodhead was ordered up with his force of 100 or 
150 men to rebuild Fort Muncy and guard the settlers while 
gathering their crops. After performing this service he left 
for Fort Pitt and Colonel Hartley, with a battalion succeeded 
him in 1778. Col. Ludwig Weltner, December 13th, 1779. I 
found Fort Muncy and Fort Jenkins, on the East branch, and 
with the magazine at Sunbury, to have been the only posts 
that were standing when he was ordered here from Wyoming. 

"Col. Hunter, whom I consulted, was of the same opinion, 
the only difficulty was to fix on some place equally well 
adapted to cover the Frontier, as Fort Muncy was ; Fort Muncy 
having been evacuated and destroyed." So Fort Muncy appears 
to have been destroyed the second time, as Lieut. Moses Van 
Campen, of Capt. Eobinson's Eangers says, in the latter part of 
March, just at the opening of the campaign of 1782, the com- 
panies that had been stationed during the winter at Heading 
were ordered back by Congress to their respective stations; 
Lieut. Van Campen marched at the head of Capt. Eobinson's 
company to Northumberland, where he was joined by Mr. 
Thomas Chambers, who had been recently commissioned ensign 
of the same company. Here he halted for a few days to allow 
his men rest, after which he was directed to march to a place 
called Muncy, and there rebuild a fort which had been destroyed 
by the Indians in the year '79. Having reached his station, he 
threw up a small blockhouse in which he placed his stores and 
immediately commenced rebuilding the fort, being joined 
shortly after by Capt. Robinson in company with several gentle- 


men, among whom was a Mr. Culberston, who was anxious to 
find an escort up the West Branch of the Susquehanna into the 
neighborhood of Bald Eagle creek. Here his brother had been 
killed by the Indians, and being informed that some of his 
party had been buried and had thus escaped the violence of 
the enemy, he was desirous of making search to obtain it. Ar- 
rangements were made for Van Campen to go with him at the 
head of a small party of men as a guard. Lieut. Van Campen 
was captured while on this expedition and taken to Canada, 
where he remained some time, so we get no further informa- 
tion from him in regard to this rebuilding of Fort Muncy for 
the third time. Fort Muncy, if properly garrisoned, was an 
important position for the defense of the valley below it; here 
was a good place from which to support scouting parties, west 
and north, and from which passes of the Muncy hills to the 
eastward could be covered by strong scouting parties, but the 
country lacked men, and means to support them at this criti- 
cal time. Near the site of Fort Muncy is the Indian Mound 
described by Mr. Gernerd in his "Now and Then," and near the 
Hairs station is the grave of Capt. John Brady, with his faith- 
ful old soldier comrade, John Lebo, buried by his side. The 
spring still defines the location of the fort. 


Fort Menninger was erected at White Deer Mills, or at the 
time of building the Widow Smith's mills ; it was built about 
eighty rods from the river, on the north bank of White Deer 
creek, covering the Widow Smith's mills, to which a gun barrel 
boring establishment was added in 1776, and is said to have 
turned out a good many of that much needed article. The fort 
was situated west of the mills forming the apex of an irregular 
triangle of which the mills formed one base and the small 
stone house, said to have been erected by the Widow Smith 
before the Eevolution, which is not doubted, the other; its 
walls are two feet thick, and the building is in good condition, 
having a more modern addition to it at present. The fort and 


mills were abandoned at the time of the Big Runaway in 
1779, and the fort burned by the Indians July 8, 1779. In 
John B. Linn's Annals of Buffalo Valley, pp. 239 and 240, we 
find: "In a petition to the Assembly of this year, 1785, by 
Catharine Smith, sets forth that she was left a widow with 
ten children with no estate to support this family except a lo- 
cation for three hundred acres of land, including the mouth of 
White Deer creek, whereon is a good mill seat, and a grist mill 
and saw mill being much wanted in this new country at that 
time, she was often solicited to erect said mills, which were of 
great advantage to the country, and the following summer 
built a boring mill, where a great number of gun barrels were 
bored for the continent, and a hemp mill. The Indian war 
soon after coming on, one of her sons, her greatest help, went 
into the army and, it is believed, was killed, as he never re- 
turned. The said mills soon became a frontier and, in July, 
1779, the Indians burned the whole works. She returned to 
the ruins in 1783, and was again solicited to rebuild the grist 
and saw mills, which she has, with much difficulty, accom- 
plished, and now ejectments are brought against her by Messrs. 
Claypool and Morris, and she, being now reduced to such low 
circumstances as renders her unable to support actions at 
law, and, therefore, prays relief, &c. The Legislature, of 
course, could grant no relief under the circumstances and the 
petition was dismissed." She is said to have gone to Philadel- 
phia and back thirteen times on this business. Her house was 
where Doctor Ranonsky now (1874) lives, on the Henry 
High place, part of the old stone house being used as a kit- 
chen. Roily McCorley, who recollects the mill last built by 
her, said it was a small round log mill." A part of the founda- 
tion of this mill serves the same purpose in the fine modern mill 
of to-day owned by Captain David Bly, of Williamsport, who 
was born here and pointed out where, when a boy, he saw the 
remains of Fort Menni'nger removed from. Fort Menninger 
was built in the spring of 1778. Troops were stationed here a 
part of the time after its destruction. In November, 1779, 
fourteen men were stationed here, and most probably occupied 
the Widow Smith's stone house. 

Gen. James Potter (in Penna. Archives, Vol. viii, p. 562), 


under date of Sept. 18, 1780, says : ^'I marched the remainder, 
consisting of 170 men up the West Branch to Fort Swarts. I 
then went to Col. Kelly, who lay at the mouth of White Deer 
creek, with 80 men." 


Fort Antes was erected by Lieut. Col. Henry Antes in 1778, 
about opposite Jersey Shore on the east side of Nippenose 
creek, and on the higher plateau overlooking it, and also the 
river. It was defended by Col. Antes, its builder, until or- 
dered to vacate it by Col. Samuel Hunter, at the time the mili- 
tary authorities considered it unsafe to attempt to defend these 

Col. Hunter sent word to Col. Hepburn, then commanding at 
Fort Muncy to order all above him on the river to abandon the 
country and retire below. Meginness' Otzinachson says, "Col. 
Hepburn had some difficulty in getting a messenger to carry 
the order up to Col. Antes, so panic stricken were the people 
on account of the ravages of the Indians. At length, Eobert 
Covenhoven and a young millwright in the employ of Andrew 
Culbertson, volunteered their services and started on the dan- 
gerous mission. They crossed the river and ascended Bald 
Eagle mountain and kept along the summit till they came to 
the gap opposite Antes^ Fort. They then cautiously descended 
at the head of Nippenose Bottom and proceeded to the fort. It 
was in the evening and as they neared the fort the report of a 
rifle rang out upon their ears. A girl had gone outside to milk 
a cow, and an Indian lying in ambush fired upon her. The 
ball, fortunately, passed through her clothes and she escaped 
unhurt. The orders were passed on up to Horn's Fort and 
preparations made for the flight." 

Fort Antes was a refuge for the Indian land or Fair Play 
men, as well as for those on the south side of the river. Col. 
Antes was a man of prominence in Northumberland county, in 
civil as well as military life. He was a justice of the peace 
and twice sheriff of Northumberland county. He was buried 
in a small grave yard near the fort he defended ably and 

*Marked by D. A. R. 


abandoned with great reluctance at the command of his su- 
perior officer. Near Fort Antes we were shown the scalping 
knife, old flint lock pistol and pocket compass of the famous 
scout, guide and Indian fighter of the West Branch, Robert 
Covenhoven. The knife has nine notches filed in the back, to 
represent the number of Indians it has scalped. 

Meginness says, ^'The most important defensive work, after 
leaving Fort Muncy and traveling westward by the river about 
twenty-five miles was what was known among the early settlers 
at Antes' Fort, because it was built by Col. John Henry Antes. 
It was located on a high bluff overlooking the river and In- 
dian land to the west, at the head of Long Island, in what is 
now Nippenose township, Lycoming county. Although every 
trace of the fort has long since disappeared, and the ground on 
which it stood is plowed and cultivated annually, its name is 
perpetuated by the little village and station on the Philadelphia 
and Erie railroad, about a mile eastward, called Antes Fort.'' 

The builder of this stockade, which played an important 
part during the Indian troubles preceding the Big Runaway, 
was one of the earliest pioneers to effect a permanent settle- 
ment here. It is believed that he was induced to locate lands 
and settle here by Conrad Weiser, and that he came as early as 
1772. He picked out a mill site near the mouth of the creek 
which still bears his name, erected a primitive dwelling place 
and settled. At that time the surroundings must have been 
exceedingly wild. The creek, which is the outlet for the 
waters of Nippenose Valley, flows through a canon in the Bald 
Eagle mountain which, at this day, possesses much of its na- 
tive wilderness. Behind him rose the mountain, covered from 
base to summit with its dark evergreen foliage of pine and 
hemlock, whilst a swamp, with almost impenetrable thickets 
of briars, tangled vines and underbrush, came up to within a 
few yards of where he built his cabin. 

Perhaps as early as 1773 he commenced the erection of a 
grist mill. It was the most advanced improvement of its kind 
up the river, and proved a great boon to the settlers for miles 
beyond. To show the straightened circumstances of the in- 
habitants it may be mentioned that while the work of building 


the mill was going on coarse flour was made by grinding 
wheat and corn in a large iron coffee mill, and the bran was re- 
moved by a hair sieve. Tradition says that one person was 
kept turning the mill all the time to keep a supply of flour for 
the sustenance of the workmen. 

It cannot be positively stated when the stockade was built, 
but it must have been in the summer of 1777, when the In- 
dians became demonstrative and troublesome on the frontier. 
The site selected for the fort was on the hill overlooking the 
mill, which was within rifle shot. It was constructed accord- 
ing to the usual plan, by sinking vertically heavy timbers in a 
trench dug four or five feet deep, when the earth was filled in 
around them. 

These stockades were from ten to twelve feet high, and 
notched at the top for musketry. No record has been left to 
show the extent of the enclosure, but it must have covered 
fully a quarter of an acre, as a militia company was stationed 
there for several months. Whether the fort was ever supplied 
with small cannon or not is unknown, but a tradition has ex- 
isted that it was, because a cannon ball was once found near 
the river bank, under the hill. It might have been carried 
there by some collector of Kevolutionary relics. But as Fort 
Muncy had one or two, it is not improbable that one of these 
was dragged up to Antes' Fort to menace the savages when 
they appeared on the opposite side of the river. 

Being active, vigilant and well informed for his time, John 
Henry Antes was appointed a justice of the peace for this part 
of Northumberland county on the 29th of July, 1775, by the 
court then held at Fort Augusta. He filled the office until the 
breaking out of Indian hostilities. On the 24th of January, 
1776, he was appointed captain of a company of fifty-eight 
militiamen in the Second battalion under Col. James Potter, 
for the defence of the frontier, and he commanded a company 
in Col. William Plunket's regiment when he made his ill- 
timed raid on the Connecticut settlers at Wyoming. 

After returning from the "raid" up the North Branch, he 
was commissioned a captain of foot in the Second battalion of 
Associators, April 19, 1776. In a little more than a year he 
was commissioned lieutenant colonel (May, 1777) of the Fourth 


battalion of the militia of Northumberland county, by the Su- 
preme Executive Council, sitting at Philadelphia. His com- 
mission was beautifully written on parchment and signed by 
Thomas Wharton, Jr., president, and Timothy Matlack, secre- 
tary. It is still preserved by his descendants as a precious 
relic. On the 30th of July, 1777, he took the oath of allegiance 
and straightway entered on a more active career in the de- 
fence of the frontier against the savages, who were daily grow- 
ing more bold and aggressive. It was about this time that he 
had a garrison at Antes' Fort and kept a vigilant outlook for 
the foe, who could come within sight of the fortification on 
their own land. Scouting parties were frequently sent out 
for the purpose of keeping communication open with Fort 
Muncy, and to watch the great Indian path running up Lycom- 
ing creek, down which scalping parties frequently came to 
ravage the settlements. 

The winter of 1777-78 was rendered distressing by the fre- 
quent inroads of the savages, and it was necessary to observe 
the greatest vigilance to guard against surprise. On the 23d 
of December a man was tomahawked and scalped near the 
mouth of Pine creek, almost within sight of the fort; and on 
the 1st of January another met the same fate further up the 
river. This month Colonel Antes visited Fort Augusta to con- 
sult with Colonel Hunter as to what had best be done. The 
result of the conference was that three classes of Col. Cookson 
Long's battalion were ordered to report to Colonel Antes. 
The men composing these commands mostly lived on the West 
Branch and were good riflemen. The inhabitants, in view of 
the increasing danger, did not deem it prudent to allow any 
more militia to leave the country to join Washington's army, 
and so informed Colonel Hunter. 

The scarcity of arms and ammunition was another draw- 
back to a vigorous defence. Colonel Hunter was constantly 
clamoring for arms, but the authorities were so hard pressed 
that they could not meet his demands. The British were mak- 
ing a supreme effort both in the front and rear of Washington. 
Indians and Tories were directed to descend on the frontiers of 
Northumberland county, from Fort Niagara to destroy the set- 
tlements and show no mercy to men. women and children. 


Colonel Antes had command of the frontier forces, with head- 
quarters at his stockade, and ranging parties, were kept con- 
stantly in the field. Colonel Hunter stated that Colonel Antes 
was the only field officer he was allowed, and he found it al- 
most impossible to defend the extensive frontier with the small 
force at his command. 

A body of Indians numbering eleven were discovered skulk- 
ing in the woods above the Great Island, and as it was evident 
that they were bent on mischief, they were promptly pursued 
by a portion of Colonel Antes' command. As a light snow had 
fallen they were easily tracked and soon overtaken. A slight 
skirmish ensued, when two Indians were killed. This caused 
the remaining nine to quickly take to the woods and escape. 
But, notwithstanding the vigilance of the scouting parties, 
small bands of Indians would suddenly appear in unlooked for 
places and do much damage. 

The inhabitants complained that if no militia were stationed 
above Fort Muncy they would be forced to abandon their 
homes. This made it more responsible for Colonel Antes, and 
he was kept on the alert night and day. His stockade fort was 
the centre of military operations for months, and its value as 
a defensive point cannot be overestimated in those perilous 

In June, 1777, an exciting and tragic affair occurred within 
sight of Fort Antes, which shows the constant danger to 
which the occupants were subjected. It was on a Sunday 
morning, when four men, Zephaniah Miller, Abel Cady, James 
Armstrong and Isaac Bouser, accompanied by two women, 
left the fort and crossed the river in canoes to the Indian land 
for the purpose of milking several cows which were pasturing 
there. The four men went along as a guard. One of the cows 
wore a bell but they found that she was further back from the 
shore than the others. Cady, Armstrong and Miller thought- 
lessly started to drive her in to be milked. It never occurred to 
them that Indians might be lurking in the bushes and that 
the cow might be kept back as a decoy. Soon after entering 
the bushes they were fired upon by the concealed foe, and 
Miller and Cady fell, severely wounded. With the agility of 
cats they were pounced upon by the Indians, and scalped. 


when they as quickly disappeared in the thickets. Armstrong 
was wounded in the back of the head, but succeeded in getting 
away. When the shots were fired, Bouser and the women, 
who were in the rear, ran to the river bank and concealed them- 

The sudden firing alarmed the garrison at the fort, but a 
number of militiamen, friends of the party attacked, seized 
their guns and hurried across the river. Colonel Antes stoutly 
remonstrated against their going, fearing that it might be a 
decoy to draw the force away, when the fort would be assailed 
from the rear, but the men were so anxious to get a shot at the 
skiilking savages that they could not be restrained, although 
aware that it was a breach of military discipline. 

When the rescuing party reached the shore they soon found 
Oady and Miller where they fell, scalped, weltering in their 
blood, and presenting a horrible spectacle. Cady was still 
breathing, but unable to speak. He was picked up and carried 
to the river bank, where his wife, who was one of the milking 
party, met him. He reached out his hand to her as a sign of 
recognition and almost immediately expired. Armstrong was 
taken to the fort, where he lingered in great agony till Monday 
night following, when he died. 

The loss of these three men, through the wily methods of the 
savages, caused a feeling of sadness among those collected in 
the fort, and showed them very plainly that their safety de- 
pended on vigilance. The pursuing party moved swiftly and 
soon came in sight of the Indians who, on seeing that they 
were discovered, turned and fired, but did no execution. They 
then dashed into a swamp which then existed under what is 
now the hill on which the Jersey Shore cemetery is situated. 
Deeming it unsafe to enter the tangled thickets of the swamp, 
the pursuing party returned. They fired several times at the 
retreating foe and thought they did some execution, as marks 
•of blood were seen on their trail as if they had dragged away 
their killed or wounded. 

One of the strange characters who was a frequent visitor to 
Antes Fort in those gloomy days was ^'Job Chilloway," a 
friendly Indian of the Delaware tribe. He had been converted 
by the Moravians and remained steadfast in the faith. Hav- 



ing associated much with the whites he became very friendly, 
and by many good acts won their confidence and respect. He 
was much employed as a scout by the military authorities and 
his fiedelity was frequently proven by dangerous missions to 
gain information of the movement of the savages. He had a 
wide acquaintance among the Indians, as well as a thorough 
knowledge of the country, its mountains, streams and paths, 
and, therefore, was enabled to acquire information that proved 
of great value to the whites. At times he was suspected by 
the Indians of giving information, but through his artlessness 
and keenness of perception, he always managed to disabuse 
their minds of suspicion and escaped when others would have 
failed. In a word, he was a first class Indian detective, whose 
sense of gratitude never allowed him to prove recreant to his 
trust, and those who had befriended him, which was some- 
thing remarkable in the nature and character of an aborigine. 
Through life he proved himself a "good Indian,'' and when he 
died near Fort Erie, Canada, September 22, 1792, he received 
Christian burial at the hands of his Moravian friends. He 
had learned to speak English well and understood several In- 
dian dialects. He was the first to apprise the whites that the 
Indians were preparing to descend on the valley in force, and 
warned them to be prepared to resist the invaders. 

Some interesting anecdotes illustrative of the character of 
this remarkable Indian, have been preserved, one of which may 
be related in this connection. One day, when the times were 
perilous, he was visiting at Antes Fort. As he was moving 
about outside the stockade, and ever on the alert for danger, 
he discovered a sentinel leaning against a tree asleep. Slip- 
ping up behind the tree he quickly threw his arms around it, 
and, grasping the sentinel, held him so that he could not see 
who had hold of him. The sentinel was badly frightened at 
his predicament and struggled to release himself, but in vain. 
At last he discovered that it was Job who had him pinioned, 
when he begged him not to tell Colonel Antes, who might pun- 
ish him severely for such a grave offense. Job promised not to 
report him, but reminded him that if it had been an enemy 
that seized him, he might have been killed. "Yes," replied the 
sentinel, "I might have been caught by an Indian and killed 


before 1 knew who my assailant was." "It was an Indian that 
caught jou," replied Job, with a grin, "but he was your 

This affair so much amused Job that he would burst into a 
fit of laughter whenever he thought of it. His frequent out- 
bursts of merriment finally attracted the attention of Colonel 
Antes, and he asked what was the cause of it, but he refused to 
tell for a long time. At last he informed the Colonel that 
something serious had happened to one of his men, but he had 
pledged his word not to tell on him. But Job intimated to 
the Colonel that he might detect the guilty man by his coun- 
tenance when the company was on parade. The Colonel scru- 
tinized the countenance of his men sharply when they were 
paraded, which caused the guilty man to confess what oc- 
curred to him. The circumstance and the manner of its re- 
vealment through the suggestion of the Indian, so amused him 
that he did not punish the man, but admonished him not to be 
caught that way again. 

In the early summer of 1778 another affair of an entirely 
different character occurred at the fort, which shows the prowl- 
ing nature of the savages and how close they would venture to 
get a shot at a white person and possibly secure a scalp. 

When Colonel Hunter sent word to the commanding officer 
at Fort Muncy that it would be necessary for the inhabitants 
living above the Muncy hills to abandon their homes and ren- 
dezvous at Fort Augusta, if they valued their lives, and des- 
patched messengers with the warning to Antes Fort and 
Horn's Fort, some trouble was experienced in finding messen- 
gers who were willing to take the risk of traveling twenty-five 
miles up the valley, which was then infested by savages. Fi- 
nally, Eobert Covenhoven, the daring scout, and a young man 
employed at Culbertson's mill, volunteered to undertake the 
dangerous mission. The name of the young man, unfortu- 
nately for the benefit of history, has not been preserved, but 
the probabilities are that he did not go, because Covenhoven 
preferred, when on a dangerous mission, to go alone. We are 
led to this conclusion by the statement that Covenhoven started 
at once and stayed that night with a man named Andrew Arm- 
strong, who had settled at a big spring a short distance east of 


the present village of Linden. This was about sixteen miles 
west of Fort Muncy and, therefore, a good stage for the first 
part of the journey. It is of record that he warned Armstrong 
of the impending danger and advised him to leave. He re- 
fused, and, in a few days afterwards, was taken prisoner, car- 
ried into captivity and never heard of again. 

The next day Covenhoven did not take the risk of traveling 
up the valley to Antes Fort, but, crossing the river, ascended 
Bald Eagle mountain, and traveled along the level plateau on 
the summit. He knew that the Indians were not likely to be 
found there, as they preferred lying in ambush along the path 
in the valley to surprise incautious travelers. Then, again, he 
could look down into the valley and discover signs of Indians, 
if any were about. The onl}^ i^oint of danger was in descending 
to cross one or two canons which intervened before debouch- 
ing near the fort. He made the journey successfully, and, in 
the evening as he was cautiously creeping through the bushes 
and when within a few hundred yards of the fort, he was 
startled by the sharp report of a rifle. 

His first impression was that he had been discovered and 
fired upon by an Indian concealed in the bushes, but finding 
himself uninjured he made a dash for the fort, which he 
reached in safety and delivered the message of Colonel Hun- 
ter to Colonel Antes to evacuate the place within a week. 

Investigation showed that the shot had been fired by an In- 
dian at a young woman who had gone outside the fort to milk 
a cow. The Indian had stealthily crawled up until he got in 
range and fired. The young woman was badly frightened, as 
she had made a narrow escape. The bullet passed through the 
folds of her dress without touching her person. Milking cows 
in those days outside of a fort was a dangerous experiment, 
and several narrow escapes are recorded. 

As soon as the shot was fired a body of armed men rushed 
out of the fort and scoured the surrounding neighborhood for 
some distance, but the venturesome redskin could not be 
found. He had probably taken refuge in the swamp, about a 
quarter of a mile southwest of the fort — a favorite hiding place 
with the Indians. 

It does not appear that Covenhoven continued to Horn's fort 


— another messenger evidently having conveyed the news there 
— as we are informed that he immediately returned to Fort 
Muncy. The brief record of the times does not tell us how he 
returned, but as an Indian lurked in nearly every thicket, we 
are left to infer that he made his way back by the mountain 
route, as it was the safest. In a few days afterwards we hear 
of him removing his wife to Fort Augusta for safety, and then 
returning to assist the panic stricken inhabitants in their 
flight down the river in what was known as the Big Runaway. 

In less than a month after the flight armed bodies of men 
were hurried up the valley from Fort Augusta and posted at 
Fort Muncy, whence scouting parties were sent out to see 
what damage had been done. They found the cabins and 
barns of the settlers burned and their crops greatly damaged. 
In about a month many settlers were induced to return and 
gather what they could of their crops under the protection of 
armed men. 

An advance scouting party hurried up the river as far as 
Antes Fort. They found the mill and outbuildings burned and 
the embers yet smoking, showing that the savages had just 
been there before them. The air was tainted with the aroma 
of roasting wheat, and everything destructible attested the 
work of vandals. Antes Fort, however, was still tenable; 
the savages were unable to burn the stout oaken timbers which 
formed the stockade, and they were not disposed to under- 
take the hard labor of cutting them down or pulling them out 
of the earth, where they had been so firmly implanted. Every- 
thing else that could be destroyed was rendered useless. 

Colonel Antes and family fled with the rest of the fugitives 
in obedience to the orders of Colonel Hunter, but he was among 
the first to return to look after his property. It does not ap- 
pear that any militia were stationed at the fort again for any 
length of time, although it is probable that it was made a rally- 
ing point until all danger was over. On the restoration of 
peace it was allowed to fall into decay, and it soon became a 
ruin, which for many years was pointed out by the old settlers 


as a spot of great historic interest, on account of its associa- 
tion with the thrilling days of the Eevolutionary period. 

Colonel Antes, soon after the return of peace rebuilt his 
mill and for years it was the only one in that section of the 
valley to supply the settlers with flour, who came with their 
grists as far away as thirty or forty miles, and in some in- 
stances further. A mill still stands on the site to-day, al- 
though it is the third since the first. 

This remarkable man, who played such a conspicuous part 
in the early history of the valley in both a military and civil 
capacity, was born October 8, 1736, near Pottstown, Montgom- 
ery county. His ancestors came from Orefeld on the Rhine, 
and in this country they occupied high positions in the Dutch 
Reformed church. His parents had eleven children, all of 
whom were ardent patriots and the males were distinguished 
for their military services in Revolutionary times. 

Cononel Antes was chosen sheriff of Northumberland county 
in 1782, and commissioned on the 18th of October. He was re- 
elected in 1783, and served a second term. His first wife — 
Anna Maria Paulin — died in March, 1767, leaving five children. 
By his second wife, Sophia Snyder, he had eight children. 
Colonel Antes had an elder brother, Philip Frederick, who 
married Barbara Tyson in 1755. Their youngest daughter, 
Catharine, married Simon Snyder about 1796. He became 
Governor of Pennsylvania in 1808, and served until 1817 — 
three terms. 

The Colonel was an active and busy man. He acquired con- 
siderable land on Antes creek and made many improvements. 
He died May 13, 1820, aged 83 years, 9 months and 5 days, and 
was buried in the graveyard near his famous fortification. 
This burial ground was started by those who were killed by 
the Indians. Here Donaldson (see sketch of Horn's fort), Mc- 
Michael and Fleming were buried, and here Cady, Miller and 
Armstrong were laid at rest. Since that time — one hundred 
and seventeen years ago — scores of old and young have found 
a place of sepulture in its sacred soil, and burials are still 
made there. 

No stone marks the grave of the old hero and patriot. Col. 
John Henry Antes, although the spot is pointed out by some 


of Ms descendants where he was laid three-quarters of a cen- 
tury ago. Considering what he did in a military capacity 
alone, the trials he passed through, the hardships he endured 
and the foundation he assisted in laying for the higher civil- 
ization which followed him, the time has arrived for the erec- 
tion of a suitable monument to perpetuate his name and fame. 
Marble, granite, brass and bronze testimonials have been 
reared over the graves of those who did less for posterity; 
here lies one who is eminently deserving of an appropriate 
block of granite, indicative of his rugged character and sub- 
lime patriotism. Shall it be done or must his memory be al- 
lowed to perish? 


Fort Horn was erected on a high flat extending out to the 
river and commanding a good view of the river up and down, 
as well as the north side of the river; is about midway be- 
tween Pine and McElhattan Stations on the P. & E. E. E., west 
of Fort Antes. It was a place of refuge for those hardy set- 
tlers on the Indian lands on the north side of the river, as well 
as the residents on the Pennsylvania lands on which it was 
built. The river lands on the north side were outside the pur- 
chase of 1768, from the Lycoming creek up the river west- 
ward. These settlers were adventurous, hardy, brave. When 
I say they were mostly Scotch-Irish it will be understood they 
were also law abiding. As they were outside the limits of the 
laws of the Province, they had formed a code of their own and 
administered it impartially. In troublous times now upon 
these communities they all stood shoulder to shoulder, prov- 
ing the saying that blood is thicker than water. 

A few soldiers are said to have been stationed here and the 
settlers on both sides of the river joined them in scouting duty, 
sending word to those below of approaching danger; several 
light skirmishes took place between the men of the fort and 
the Indians, in which several lives were lost. On an alarm, 
the inhabitants of the north side placed their families in 

*Monmument erected here by Col. H. W. Shoemaker in 1912. 


canoes and paddled to Antes, Horn and Reid's forts; when 
danger passed over their families would return. 

Accompanied by John F. Meginnes, the historian, J. H. 
MacMinn, a great-grandson of Col. Antes, and quite an anti- 
quarian, we visited the sites of these upper West Branch forts. 
A Mr. Quiggle, of Pine, accompanied us to Fort Horn. The 
old gentleman pointed out to us the depression where, in his 
younger days, had stood up the remains of the stockades. The 
P. & E. R. E. at this point has cut away about one-half the 
ground enclosed by the fort. 

This stockaded fortification was situated on a commanding 
point of land on the West Branch of the Susquehanna river, in 
what is now the township of Wayne, Clinton county, one mile 
west of the post village of Pine. At this point the river de- 
scribes a great bend, affording a commanding view for about 
one mile up and down the stream from the elevation or point 
on which Samuel Horn chose to erect his stockade. Looking 
across the river to the north, which, at this point flows to the 
east, a magnificent view of the rich, alluvial valley is afforded ; 
in the rear, not more than one-fourth of a mile away, is the 
dark and sombre range of the Bald Eagle mountain, varying in 
altitude from five to seven hundred feet. 

At the time Samuel Horn settled here the river was the In- 
dian boundary line, according to the provisions of the treaty 
of 1768, therefore, he was on the northern boundary of the 
Province of Pennsylvania. From the point where he built his 
cabin he could look over the Indian possessions for miles and 
plainly see the cabins of a dozen or more sturdy Scotch-Irish 
squatters on the '^forbidden land." The tract on which Horn 
settled was warranted in the name of John L. Webster in 1769. 
Since that time it has passed through a number of hands, and 
is now owned by a Mr. Quiggle, whose ancestors were among 
the early settlers in this part of Wayne township. 

Horn, when the Indians became threatening in 1777, with 
the assistance of his neighbors, enclosed his primitive log 
dwelling with stockades, and it became a rallying point as 
well as a haven of safety, in the perilous times which followed. 
The line of stockades can be pretty clearly traced to this day 
by the depression in the ground and the vegetation and under- 


brush. The enclosure probably embraced a quarter of an acre, 
thereby affording ample room for a number of families. A 
small stream of pure mountain water ran along the western 
side of the enclosure, and it is probable that there was a way 
constructed so that it could be reached from within with 
safety from the prowling foe. When the Philadelphia and 
Erie railroad was built the line cut through the northern end 
of what has been the stockaded enclosure, and the discolored 
earth showed very plainly where the timber had decayed. 

Horn's Fort and the others of the upper West Branch were 
recognized by the authorities as defensive positions, and most 
of them, if not all, furnished with troops, either militia or 
Continental, when troops could be procured for that purpose; 
when not garrisoned by militia, these forts on this flank, were 
held by the inhabitants of the Province of the south side of 
the river, assisted by their neighbors of the Indian lands of 
the north side. 

Colonel Antes was furnished militia to strengthen Antes 
Fort whenever Colonel Hunter, the commander of Northum- 
berland county, could procure them. Moses Van Campen tells 
us Colonel Kelly's regiment of militia garrisoned Fort Reid, 
at now Lock Haven, a few miles above Horn's, the most of the 
summer of 1777. 

Tradition says that Horn's was a defensive work of no 
mean importance at that time, and was of great value to the 
pioneers who had pushed their way up the river in the advance 
guard, as it were. There was but one defensive work (Reid's) 
a few miles west, and as it was on the extreme limits of the 
frontier there a company of county militia was stationed for 
some time. Its location was admirably chosen. In all that 
region no more eligible position could have been formed. 
Standing on its ramparts, the eye swept the river right and 
left and the Indian lands to the north, for several miles. As the 
current bore immediately under its lea an Indian canoe could 
scarcely have glided past in the night without having been 
detected by a vigilant sentinel. 

One of the most remarkable incidents of Revolutionary 
times — an incident which stands, so far as known, without its 
counterpart in the history of the struggle of any people for 


liberty and independence, occurred within sight of Horn's fort, 
but across the river on the Indian land. This was what is 
known as the "Pine Creek Declaration of Independence." The 
question of the colonies throwing off the yoke of Great Britain 
and setting up business for themselves, had been much dis- 
cussed, both in and out of Congress. The hardy Scotch-Irish 
settlers on both sides of the river, in the vicinity of Horn's, 
bore little love for the mother country. The majority of them 
had been forced to leave their native land to seek a home where 
they would be free from religious oppression — where they 
could worship God according to the dictates of their own 
conscience. They were all patriots in the broadest sense of 
the term, and a loyalist or tory would not have been tolerated 
in their midst. They yearned for independence, and when the 
discussion of the subject waxed warm they resolved on calling 
a public meeting to give formal expression to their views. Ac- 
cordingly, on the 4th day of July, 1776, the meeting, assembled 
on the Pine creek plains and a resolution was passed, declar- 
ing themselves free and independent of Great Britain. The 
remarkable feature of this meeting was that the Pine creek 
resolution was passed on the same day that a similar resolu- 
tion was passed by the Continental Congress sitting in Phila- 
delphia, more than two hundred miles away, and between whom 
there could be no communication for concert of action. It 
was, indeed, a remarkable coincidence — remarkable in the fact 
that the Continental Congress and the squatter sovereigns on 
the West Branch should declare for freedom and indepen- 
dence about the same time. 

It is regretted that no written record of the meeting was 
preserved, showing who the officers were and giving the names 
of all those present. All that is known is what has been handed 
down by tradition. The following names of the participants 
have been preserved: Thomas, Francis and John Clark, Alex- 
ander Donaldson, William Campbell, Alexander Hamilton, 
John Jackson, Adam Carson, Henry McCracken.* Adam De- 
Witt, Kobert Love, and Hugh Nichols. The meeting might 
have been held at the cabins of either John Jackson or Alex- 
ander Hamilton, as both were representative and patriotic 
men of the period. Several of these men afterwards perished 

*Great-grandfather of Chancellor Henry M. MacCracken of the University of New York. 
Oeo. P. Donehoo. 


at the hands of the savages ; others fought in the Eevolutionary 
army and assisted in achieving the independence which they 
had resolved the country should have. 

The majority of these men lived across the river from the 
fort on the Indian land, and they all received patents for the 
land they had pre-empted after the treaty and purchase of 
1784, in consideration of their loyalty, patriotism and devotion 
to the struggling colonies. The name of Samuel Horn is not 
found among those that have been handed down to us, but it 
may be safely inferred that the man who was sufficiently pa- 
triotic to build a stockade fort for the protection of the neigh- 
borhood in which these men lived, was a sympathizer, if not a 
participant, in the Pine creek movement for independence. 

There is nothing on record to show that the fort was ever 
supplied with small cannon. Its only armament was muskets 
and rifles in the hands of the hardy settlers when they had col- 
lected there in times of danger. That the savages regarded it 
with displeasure, and sought more than one opportunity to at- 
tack the occupants, there is abundant proof. They prowled 
about in small bands or laid concealed in the surrounding 
thickets ready to shoot down and scalp any thoughtless occu- 
pant who might venture a few hundred yards from the enclos- 
ure. Among the thrilling escapes that have been preserved is 
that of the young woman named Ann Carson, just before the 
flight known in history as the Big Eunaway. She ventured 
out of the fort one day and was fired upon by a concealed 
savage. The bullet cut through the folds of her dress, making 
fourteen holes in its flight, but left her uninjured. About the 
same time another young woman named Jane Anesley, while 
engaged in milking a cow one evening outside the enclosure, 
was fired at by a lurking Indian several times. One bullet 
passed through her dress, grazing her body so closely that she 
felt the stinging sensation so severely that she was sure she 
was shot. 

At the time Colonel Hunter sent up word from Fort Au- 
gusta for the settlers to abandon the valley and flee to places 
of safety down the river, as he was informed that a large body 
of savages was preparing to descend from the Seneca country 
to devastate the valley and wipe out the settlements, that fear- 


less scout and intrepid soldier, Eobert Covenhoven, bore the 
unwelcome news from Fort Muncy to Antes Fort and had a 
messenger despatched from the latter place to warn the in- 
mates of Fort Horn that they must fly if they valued their 
lives. The meagre records inform us that all the settlers 
within a radius of several miles were collected at Horn's and 
that a great state of excitement prevailed. Those living on 
the Indian lands across the river were gathered at the fort, 
anxiously awaiting news* from below. Judging from the ex- 
tent of the settlements at the time; a hundred or more fugitives 
must have been collected there. 

The order to evacuate the fort was received with feelings of 
alarm, well nigh bordering on despair. The frenzied settlers 
at once set about making preparations to abandon their humble 
homes, their growing crops — for it was in early June — and 
fly. Many of them buried chinaware and other household ef- 
fects that they could not well carry with them in places that 
they could recognize if they were ever permitted to return. 

Soon after receiving Colonel Hunter's message four men, 
Robert Fleming, Robert Donaldson, James McMichael and 
John Hamilton started down the river in canoes for Antes 
Fort to secure a flat in which to transport their families below. 
They were squatters on the Indian land across the river from 
Horn's and they knew that the savages had a grudge against 
them for trespassing on their territory, and that they would 
fare badly if they fell in their hands. The dread of impending 
danger had driven them across the river with their families to 
seek the protection of the fort. 

They reached Antes Fort in safety, engaged a flat and started 
on their return. But the eye of the wily savage was on them. 
They had pushed their canoes up through the Pine creek riffles, 
when they pushed over to the south side of the river for the 
purpose of resting and to await for other parties who were 
following them with the flat. At this point the mountain 
comes down almost to the edge of the river, and at that time it 
presented an exceedingly wild and forbidding appearance. 
As they were about to land, and not suspecting danger, they 
were suddenly fired on by a small band of savages concealed in 
the bushes. Donaldson jumped out of his canoe, rushed up the 


bank and cried to the others, "Come on, boys." Hamilton saw 
the Indians rise up, and at the same time noticed the blood 
spurting from a wound in Donaldson's back as he was trying 
to reload his gun. He soon fell from exhaustion and died. 
Fleming and McMichael were also killed. Hamilton, who was 
untouched, gave his canoe a powerful shove into the stream 
and, jumping into the water fell flat on the other side. Then, 
holding the canoe with one hand between the Indians and him- 
self, he managed to paddle across the river with the other. 
Several bullets flew around his frail craft, but he escaped with- 
out a scratch. When he landed his woolen clothes were so 
heavy, from being saturated with water, as to impede his 
flight. He, therefore, stripped himself of everything but his 
shirt and ran swiftly up the river. His route was by the In- 
dian path to the Great Island. He ran for life. Fear lent 
wings to his flight. The flutter of a bird stimulated him to in- 
crease his speed, and if a bush came in his way he cleared it 
with a bound. In this way he ran for nearly three miles, pass- 
ing the place where his father had settled, until he came oppo- 
site Horn's Fort, when he was discovered and a canoe was 
sent to rescue him. 

The men in the flat being behind and hearing the firing and, 
divining the cause, hurriedly pushed to the north shore, below 
the mouth of Pine creek, which they hurriedly forded, and ran 
up the path which Hamilton had so swiftly traveled. James 
Jackson, who was one of the party on the flat, found a horse 
pasturing on the Pine creek clearing which he caught, mounted 
and rode up to the point opposite Horn's fort, when he was 
discovered and brought over in a canoe. The other men made 
their way to the fort and escaped. " 

An armed body of men, as soon as the news was received at 
Horn's, made their way down to the place of ambuscade. Here 
the dead and scalped bodies of Donaldson, McMichael and 
Fleming were found, but the Indians had departed. They 
knew that they would be punished and hurried away as quickly 
as possible. The rescuing party secured the three dead bodies 
of their neighbors and carried them to Antes Fort, where they 
were buried in the little graveyard which had been started 
outside the enclosure. Nearly all of these men left families. 


and the cruel manner in which they had been slain caused 
great excitement at the fort, as well as intense grief on the part 
of their wives and children. It was a sad day at Horn's. But 
no time was to be lost. Activity was the demand of the hour. 
The savages were emerging from the forests on every hand 
bent on murder and pillage, and the settlers collected at the 
fort saw that if they were to escape their relentless fury they 
must fly at once. 

The same day the bloody affair occurred at Pine creek, a 
party of men were driving a lot of cattle down the river from 
the vicinity of Great Island — the thickest part of the set- 
tlement on the Indian land — when they were fired on by a 
small body of skulking savages, almost in sight of Fort Horn. 
The whites, who were well armed, returned the fire, when an 
Indian was observed to fall and was quickly removed by his 
companions. This mishap seemed to strike terror into the 
ranks of the survivors and they fled precipitately into the for- 
est, abandoning a lot of plunder, consisting largely of blankets, 
which fell into the hands of the whites. A member of the 
cattle party named Samuel Fleming, was shot through the 
shoulder and severely wounded. The Fleming family was one 
of the earliest to settle in this neighborhood, and as the head 
thereof had several sons, it is probable that Samuel was a 
brother of Eobert, who was killed in the ambuscade at Pine 

The firing was heard at Horn's and added to the alarm of the 
women and children assembled there, which only subsided 
when they found the party approaching on the other side of 
the river with their cattle. Fleming was ferried over to the 
fort, where he had his wound dressed. The cattle drivers con- 
tinued on down the river in search of a place of greater se- 
curity for their stock. 

Such were some of the incidents preceding the Big Runaway 
in the latter part of June, 1778, when all of that part of the 
valley of the West Branch, west of the Muncy hills, was aban- 
doned by the white settlers to escape the fury of the savages. 
The stockade forts, like the humble log cabins, were dis- 
mantled and burned, so far as the remorseless foe was capable 
of carrying out their intentions. 

A description of the Big Runaway, which has no parallel 


in frontier history, is not out of place in this connection. The 
best account is found in Sherman Day's Historical Collections 
of Pennsylvania, p. 451. Mr. Day obtained it from the lips of 
Oovenhoven himself in 1842, more than fifty years ago, when 
the thrilling incidents were comparatively fresh in his mind. 
After delivering the order of Colonel Hunter to the com- 
mander of Antes Fort, and seeing that the message was con- 
veyed to Horn's, Covenhoven hastily returned to Fort Muncy 
and removed his wife to Sunbury for safety. He then started 
up the river in a keel boat for the purpose of securing his 
scanty household furniture and to aid the panic stricken in- 
habitants to escape. Day reports his story in these thrilling 
words : 

"As he was rounding a point above Derrstown (now Lewis- 
burg) he met the whole convoy from all the forts above 
(Muncy, Antes, Horn's and Keid's) and such a sight he never 
saw in his life. Boats, canoes, hog troughs, rafts hastily made 
of dry sticks — every sort of floating article had been put in 
requisition and were crowded with women and children and 
^plunder' — there were several hundred people in all. When- 
ever any obstruction occurred at a shoal or riffle, the women 
would leap out and put their shoulders, not, indeed, to the 
wheel, but to the flat boat or raft, and launch it again into 
deep water. The men of the settlement came down in single 
file on each side of the river to guard the women and children. 
The whole convoy arrived safely at "Sunbury, leaving the entire 
line of farms along the West Branch to the ravaged of the In- 
dians. They did not penetrate in any force near Sunbury, 
their attention having been soon after diverted to the memor- 
able descent on Wyoming. * * ♦ After Coven- 
hoven had got his bedding and furniture in his boat (at Loyal- 
sock, and was proceeding down the river just below Fort Men- 
ninger (at the mouth of White Deer creek), he saw a woman 
on the shore fleeing from an Indian. She jumped down the 
river bank and fell, perhaps, wounded by his gun. The In- 
dian scalped her, but in his haste neglected to tomahawk her. 
She survived the scalping, was picked up by the men from the 
fort (Freeland) and lived on Warrior run until about the 
year 1840. Her name was Mrs. Durham." 


Strange as it may seem, nothing has been preserved to show 
who Samuel Horn was, whence he came or whither he went 
after abandoning his fort. Neither do the records show that 
he ever warranted any land in that vicinity. That he had a 
family is reasonably certain, else it is not likely he would have 
gone to the trouble and expense of building a stockade around 
his cabin for protection and the protection of his neighbors, 
who made it a rallying point in time of great danger. All that 
has been preserved about him is what has been handed down 
in the form of tradition. It is probable that he never returned 
after the Big Kunaway, but settled in some of the lower coun- 
ties. His name, however, has been perpetuated in connection 
with the fort, and, although one hundred and sixteen years 
have rolled away since he hurriedly bade it adieu forever, the 
site where it stood is still proudly pointed out by the people 
in the neighborhood, who hold his name in grateful remem- 

This report would be incomplete if no further reference was 
made to the fearless scout — Robert Covenhoven — who bore 
the last message up the river warning the settlers to fly to 
Fort Augusta to escape the wrath of the red-handed Ishmael- 
ites who were bearing down on them from the north incited to 
commit the most atrocious deeds by the promise of British 

Who was Robert Covenhoven? He was of Hollandish de- 
scent, and came with his father's family from Monmouth 
county, N*ew Jersey, where he was born December 7, 1755, and 
settled near the mouth of Loyalsock creek in 1772. A number 
of relatives accompanied them. Our subject — the name has 
since been corrupted in Crownover — ^was first employed as a 
hunter and axeman by the surveyors, and early became ac- 
quainted with the paths of the wilderness and inured to the 
dangers and hardships of pioneer life. This knowledge and 
service eminently fitted him to perform the duties of a scout, 
and as he was fearless, strong and sagacious and well ac- 
quainted with the wiles of the Indian, he became very success- 
ful in his dangerous calling. 

On the breaking out of the Revolution he joined Washing- 
ton's army and participated in the battles of Trenton and 


Princeton. In tke spring of 1777 he wgs sent to his home on 
the West Branch to aid in protecting the frontiers, and few 
men in those stirring times endured greater hardships or had 
more hairbreadth escapes. He married Miss Mercy Kelsey 
Cutter (also a native of New Jersey), February 22, 1778, so 
that it will be seen that she was little more than a bride at the 
time of the Big Eunaway. 

To give a history of his life in full would require the space 
of a moderate sized volume. He was the principal guide for 
Colonel Hartley when he made his famous expedition up Ly- 
coming creek in September, 1778, by direction of Congress for 
the purpose of chastising the Indians at Tioga Point (now 
Athens), and was the first man to apply the torch to the wig- 
wam of Queen Esther at the Point. 

He had a brother killed in a fight with Indians on Loyal- 
sick, near where his father settled, and had another taken pris- 
oner. He was himself chased for some distance along the 
creek, dodging up and down the bank alternately, that his 
savage pursuers might get no aim at him. Doubtless, his 
swiftness of foot and power of endurance saved him. He es- 
caped to Fort Muncy and gave an account of the fight. On 
the close of the war he purchased a farm in Level Corner, Ly- 
coming county, almost in sight of Antes Fort, and settled down 
to the quiet pursuits of agriculture. 

He had a family of five sons and three daughters, all of 
whom are deceased. His wife died November 27, 1843, aged 
88 years, 10 months and 8 days, and was buried in a cemetery 
on what is now West Fourth street, Williamsport. Her grave 
has been obliterated by a church, which stands on the spot 
where it was made. 

When the veteran grew old and was borne down by the 
weight of years, he went to stay with a daughter who lived 
near Northumberland. There he died October 29, 1846, at the 
ripe and meilow age of 90 years, 10 months and 22 days, and 
was laid at rest in the old Presbyterian graveyard in the bor- 
ough of Northumberland. A plain marble headstone marks 
his grave, and the inscription, now almost illegible, tells who 
he was and what he did to help achieve our independence. 
For years the old burial ground v/here his ashes repose has 



been a common, and cattle graze on its green sward in summer 
time, pigs root among fallen tombstones and listless vandals 
amuse themselves by defacing memorial tablets reared by lov- 
ing hands to perpetuate the name of a father or mother. The 
old patriot left a request in his will to be buried by the side 
of his wife, but his executor failed to carry it out, and from ap- 
pearances his humble grave will soon be obliterated, the cor- 
roding tooth of time will soon destroy his plan marble tablet, 
and his numerous descendants will no longer be able to tell 
where his bones were laid. 


Port Reid was the most westerly of the line of defences 
thrown out in advance of Fort Augusta, for the purpose of 
covering that place and as a rallying place for the inhabitants 
and the scouts when hard pressed. The Continental army had 
drawn largely upon the young active men of the region, leav- 
ing those less fit for active service at home to cope with an 
enemy, the most active and wily in border warfare of this 
kind in the world. 

In this forest country, with the inhabitants isolated by the 
size of their land claims, he could lay in wait, concealed for 
weeks if necessary, to await an opportunity to strike the settler 
when off his guard or in a situation in which he could offer 
least effective opposition. Not hampered with baggage, never 
troubled about keeping open his communications, as he could 
glide through where a fox might pass, and as noiselessly; 
armed by his master with the best of arms the time afforded, 
while the pioneers could scarcely procure ammunition enough 
to keep his family in meat; the Indian was bountifully fur- 
nished from the ample storehouses of the English. One natur- 
ally wonders how, with all the disadvantages* against him, 
the settler held out so long; his staying qualities were won- 
derful; with these strengthened houses inadequately garri- 
soned as the only refuge for his family, he was a man who 
elicits our admiration. 

*Tbis site was marked by the Ck)l. Hugh White Chapter, D. A. R., 29 July, 1899. 


Keid's Fort was the dwelling house of Mr. William Keid, 
stockaded in the spring of 1777; its location is on Water or 
River street, in the built up part of the town east of the mouth 
of the Bald Eagle canal. Judge Mayer and others have kept 
up an interest in its site. Visiting the site, Capt. R. S. Barker 
and myself called upon William Quigley and his wife, who were 
said to be the oldest residents of the place, he being ninety 
years ; we found the pair bright, intelligent people. He recol- 
lected the remains of Fort Reid and so did Mrs. Quigley. As 
their location is acquiesced in by Judge Mayer and the others, 
we give it. 

A large Indian mound existed at this place on the river 
bank, described as high as a two-story house, surrounded by 
a circle of small ones. In digging the Bald Eagle canal they 
cut away the western half of this mound, exhuming quantities 
of human bones and stone implements. The banks of the 
canal were said to be whitened therewith for years after. Im- 
mediately to the east of the mounds and close thereto stood 
Reid's fort, traces of which could be seen after 1820. This 
gives us the exact site within, say thirty feet, of the chimney 
of the Reid house and brings us within the stockades. 

As mentioned before it was the left flanking defence of the 
series and was vacated by order of Col. Hunter, who had com- 
mand of these forts, and garrisoned when he had troops, but 
the principal defence fell upon the settlers of the regions they 
protected. The Indians seldom attacked these places with any 
persistency unless accompanied by whites. It was an import- 
ant point to garrison, covering the river on both sides and the 
lower Bald Eagle valley, which, when well done by the assist- 
ance of Horn, Antes and Muncy, protected the whole of the re- 
gion between the Bald Eagle and the Susquehanna down to 
White Deer creek. 

Moses Van Campen, then orderely sergeant of Captain Gas- 
kins' company of Colonel John Kelly's regiment of Northum- 
berland county militia, says the regiment was stationed here 
at Fort Reid during its six months' service in the summer of 
1777. As he calls it Fort Reid it must have been fortified at 
that time, -as the position was on the extreme outer limits of 
the settlements and much exposed. This is, without doubt, 


correct. Scouting duty was performed by the regiment and 
guarding the inhabitants was performed vigilantly. Here, in 
the West Branch, is located at the mouth of the Bald Eagle 
creek, the ''Big Island," comprising a few hundred acres and 
very fertile. This place attracted settlers early, while on each 
side of the river the lands were attractive and a consider- 
able settlement existed in the vicinity of the fort at this time. 
Here Van Campen had his wrestling match with the champion 
of the Indian land men, or those settlers on the north side of 
the river, in which Northumberland's activity and muscle pre- 
vailed. Here the Bald Eagle valley terminates. The fort, 
when manned as it should be, protected the lower part of the 
valley. The Rev. Mr. Fithian, of the Presbyterian church, 
visited this place before the Revolution, going with Miss Jenny 
Reed and another young woman whortleberrying on the Bald 
Eagle mountain. On returning from the expedition they came 
part of the way by the river; their canoeman was unfortunate 
and overset the canoe, spilling out the girls and whortleberries. 
The- water was not deep; the girls squalled lustily at first, but, 
finding themselves unhurt, they proceeded to chastise the 
canoeman by "skeeting" water over him with their tin cups 
until the poor fellow was effectually drenched, when, still in- 
dignant, they waded to the shore to their friends, who were 
there enjoying the scene. 

The foregoing includes all the forts built as a defence 
against the Indians prior to 1783 I find in my jurisdiction, and 
they are fifteen in number. 

pQSmoN or THE WYOMiN&rO^TS. 













President of the Wyoming Hi«itorical and Geological Society 





The article following this introductory note was written by 
Mr. Sheldon Keynolds during a long illness whj^^h" ended in 
his death at Saranac Lake, N. Y., on the 8th of February, 
1 895. It was dictated in part by him to his brother. Col. G. M. 
Reynolds, and was finished almost with the life of its author. 
To those whose privilege it was to know Mr. Reynolds, his 
story of the troubled times of the last century is fraught with 
peculiar and almost painful interest. The manful and heroic 
effort be made to end his task against the heavy odds of his 
physical weakness and fast advancing disease, and his final ac- 
complishment of his labors, were most characteristic of his 
spirit and tenacity of purpose. How well the work was done 
the article speaks for itself, and no one could know from its 
perusal that the hand which wrote it could at the last scarce 
clasp a pen, and that the calm and judicial tone which per- 
vades the account of the early trials and hardships of our 
forefathers was the expression of one whose life was fast 
ebbing away and who felt himself urged by the most pressing 
necessity to complete a work which he knew too well to delay 
at all would be to leave unended. 

Mr. Reynolds was of New England stock, his ancestors, com- 
ing from Litchfield, Conn., were among the first of the original 
settlers in the Wyoming Valley, and one of the name laid 
down his life in defense of his home and kindred with the 
many other heroes whose blood stained the fair fields of the 
valley on the fatal third of July, 1778. 

Mr. Reynolds was a graduate of Yale University in the 
class of 1867. After his graduation he was called to the bar 



and for a short time practiced law. His mind was eminently 
judicial and logical, and had he cared for fame as a lawyer he 
had all the equipment of careful training and natural aptitude 
which would soon have brought him distinguished success in 
his profession. 

But his tastes lay not in this direction. The study of his- 
tory and archaeology fascinated him and he especially de- 
lighted in the elucidation of the local traditions and history 
with which this region overflows. To fit himself for this form 
of study, he trained his mind in the most rigid and exacting 
school of modern historical research, and followed the fore- 
most examples of critical methods in this branch of literature; 
and now, w%en all these years of careful preparation were 
passed and the field he had labored in was ripe for fruitage, he 
was taken from us and we have left but the memory of his 
patient, zealous work, the benefit and charm of which have 
been denied us except in the few short articles which came 
from his pen. 

His was a noble character, full of love for truth, winning 
and lovable. Companionable in the highest degree to the in- 
timate few who knew that beyond the reserve and quiet pose 
of manner lay a spirit full of life and enthusiasm, a mind 
stored with a fund of knowledge and general information, 
and that an hour spent in his company was sure to bring one 
both pleasure and profit. Only those who knew him thus can 
appreciate to its full meaning the loss to a community of a citi- 
zen with such broad aims, noble impulses and unselfish desire 
and willingness to labor for the advancement of every worthy 
enterprise; and only those who knew him thus can under- 
stand how deep-seated is the sadness and the personal be- 
reavement that comes to one whose years of comradeship with 
him had cemented a friendship that only death could break. 


Forts erected prior to 1783 as a defence against the Indians 
within the territory bounded east by the Delaware river, 
south by the forty-first degree north latitude, on the north 
by the State line and west by the extreme western boundary 
of Luzerne county and a line drawn thence at an equal dis- 
tance west of the Susquehanna river to the New York State 

The territory inclosed within these boundaries comprises 
a large part of that municipal division known in early times as 
the town and county of Westmoreland, then under the politi- 
cal jurisdiction of Connecticut. It will be remembered that 
by the words of the Connecticut charter her western bound- 
ary was the '^ South Sea," and in pursuance of her right thus 
stated in her charter, the colony made claim to lands lying 
between the forty-first and forty-second parallels of latitude 
west of the Delaware river. Of these claims the one that was 
urged with most vigor and persistence, and resisted with 
equal resolution, was made on behalf of the Susquehanna 
Company, for the lands on the Susquehanna, bought of the 
Indians of the Six Nations, at Albany, in 1754. This pur- 
chase included the lands of Wyoming on the Susquehanna, 
and was the first step on the part of the Connectcut people 
and their associates, members of the Susquehanna Company, 
towards the settlement of Wyoming. Actual settlement of 
the region was not undertaken, however, until 1762. In the 
following year an end was put to the undertaking by an attack 

*The authorities consulted in the preparation of this article are Chapman's, Miner's. 
Peck's and Stone's Histories of Wyoming; Pearce's Annals of Luzerne County, Proceedings 
and Collections of Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, Matthew's History of 
Wayne, Pike and Monroe Counties, and Pennsylvania Archives. The writer acknowledges 
his indebtedness to Hon. C. I. A. Chapman and Hon. James S. Slocum. 



made upon the settlement by tJie Indians living in the neigh- 
borhood and the massacre of about twenty of the settlers. 
Further attempts were given up until the year 1769, when the 
first permanent settlement was made. Prior to this event 
these conflicting claims had been the subject of argument and 
negotiation; but with strong representatives of each party 
upon the ground and thus brought face to face — as between 
them — arguments ceased, and a resort to force was adopted, 
although under the guise of civil process. These methods? 
were quickly followed by acts of violence, and civil authority 
was lost sight of amid the sound of arms and the exciting in- 
cidents of open warfare. 

The late Governor Hoyt, in his able review of these claims 
in his "Syllabus of the Controversy between Connecticut and 
Pennsylvania," says: 

"Some years ago, in the course of professional employment, 
I had occasion to arrange some data embraced in the follow- 
ing brief. They consisted mainly of charters, deeds and dates 
and were intended for professional use. They were too 
meagre for the present purpose. They should embrace a 
wider range of facts, their relations and appropriate deduc- 
tions from them. The controversy herein attempted to be set 
forth, one hundred years ago was raging with great fierceness, 
evoked strong partisanship, and was urged, on both sides, by 
the highest skill of statesmen and lawyers. In its origin it 
was a controversy^ over the political jurisdiction and right of 
soil in a tract of country containing more than five millions of 
acres of land, claimed by Pennsylvania and Connecticut, as 
embraced, respectively, in their charter grants. It involved 
the lives of hundreds, was the ruin of thousands, and cost the 
State millions. It wore out one entire generation. It was 
righteously settled in the end. We can now afford to look at 
it without bias or bitter feeling." 

This controversy was an event in the history of Wyoming 
which cast its baneful influences over every activity that con- 
tributed to the progress and growth of the settlement; it af- 
fected the inhabitants in all their material relations. Any 
successes achieved by them were wrought out despite of it, 
and their failures and misfortunes were of a character more 


disheartening and lasting by reason of this ever present men- 

It was thought proper to thus briefly mention this contro- 
versy arising out of these conflicting claims, owing to its great 
and continuing influence upon the settlement, as well as its 
intimate relation to the history of several of the forts, which 
served at intervals, both as a defence against the Indians and 
as a means of enforcing the claims of the several parties. 


In April, 1769, soon after their arrival in the disputed terri- 
tory, the Connecticut people set about the building of a fort 
for their better protection. They chose a site now within the 
limits of the city of Wilkes-Barre, on the river banks between 
the present streets. South and Ross. Here they built of hewn 
logs a strong block house surrounded by a rampart and in- 
trenchment. It was protected on two sides by natural bar- 
riers, having on one side the Susquehanna river, and on the 
other, the southwest, side, a morass with a brook flowing 
through it and emptying into the river near by the fort at a 
place called Fish's Eddy. The size of the enclosure is not 
known, but it was probably of one-half an acre in extent, as 
any place of shelter in time of danger of less space would be 
of little use. The fort was looked upon as a strong military 
defence, both from its manner of construction and the natural 
advantages of its position. Near to it were built also twenty 
or more log houses, each provided with loop holes through 
which to deliver the fire in case of a sudden attack. It was 
named Fort Durkee in honor of Capt. John Durkee, one of the 
leaders of the Yankee forces, and who had seen service in the 
late war with France, and afterwards, as a colonel of the Con- 
necticut line on the continental establishment, served with 
merit throughout the Revoluntionary war. While this fort 
was erected as a defence against the Indians, and doubtless 
served that purpose, there is no evidence that it ever sustained 
an attack from that quarter. It was, however, one of the 

*The site of Port Durkee was marked by the Wyoming Valley Chapter, D. A. R.. 14 
June, 1899. 


stroDgliolds that played a very important part in the contest 
with the Proprietary government over the disputed jurisdic- 
tion and title to the Wyoming lands, known as the first Penna- 
mite war, beginning in 1769 and continuing two years. Shortly 
after this period the name of the fort disappears from the 
records; whether it was dismantled or suffered to fall into 
decay is not known. Miner's history of Wyoming, page 265, 
makes a last reference to it in these words : ''The whole army 
(Gen. Sullivan's) was encamped on the river flats below 
Wilkes-Barre, a portion of them occupying old Fort Durkee." 
(June 23, 1779). If the fort was at that time in a condition 
to serve any useful purpose, it is difficult to understand why 
the people of the town were at such pains to build in 1776 
a fort for their protection on the Public Square, inasmuch as 
Durkee was a much stronger place and quite as convenient, 
or how a work of this importance escaped destruction at the 
hands of the enemy after the battle of Wyoming. The brook 
mentioned above as forming one of the safeguards of the fort, 
has long since disappeared. One branch of it had its rise 
near the place known as the Five Points, and the other branch 
in the Court house square; the later flowed in a southerly di- 
rection, emptying into a marsh at a point near the Lehigh 
Valley railroad. The stream leaving the marsh crossed Main 
street near Wood street, and took a northerly course to Acad- 
emy and Eiver streets, where it was spanned by a bridge, 
thence it flowed into the river at Fish's Eddy. There has been 
some question in respect to the location of this fort. The 
principal evidence in favor of the site as stated is twofold: 
the land on the southwest side of the stream and morass was 
low land, subject to overflow upon every considerable rise of 
the river, and therefore of a nature wholly unsuited for a work 
of the kind. Hon. Charles Miner, whose recollection of events 
happening prior to the beginning of this century was clear, 
says in effect, that Durkee was located sixty rods southwest 
of Fort Wyoming, and that the remains of the latter fort were 
in a tolerable state of preservation in the year 1800.* The 
site of the latter fort is well known and the distance of sixty 

♦History of Wyoming, p. 126. 


rods in the direction indicated, fixes the location of Durkee 
as given above. 

Fort Wyoming was located on the river common, about eight 
rods southwest of the junction of Northampton and Kiver 
streets in the city of Wilkes-Barre. It was built in January, 
1771, by Capt. Amos Ogden, the able leader of the Proprietary 
forces, and one hundred men under his command. The pur- 
pose of its erection was the reduction of Fort Durkee, the 
stronghold of the Yankees, and like Durkee it became an im- 
portant factor in carrying forward to an issue the controversy 
alluded to. In 1771 it fell into the hands of the Connecticut 
people. It was not built, as is apparent from the statement 
just made, as a defence against the Indians; but seems to 
have been used for that purpose in 1772 and 1773 and later. 
It was this fort doubtless that is mentioned in the records of 
those years, as ^'the fort in Wilkes-Barre" where constant 
guard was required to be kept. After this time, it passes out 
of notice; no account has come down to us of the manner of 
its destruction or other disposition. It is reasonable to sup- 
pose that it was not standing in 1776, as the people would 
have made use of it instead of building a fort in that time of 
need. This fort gave its name to a successor built on the same 
site in 1778, and which became an important post during the 
period of the war. 

Mill Creek Fort was situated on the river bank on the north 
side of the brook of the same name, which now forms the 
northern boundary line of the city of Wilkes-Barre. It was 
built in the year 1772, after the cessation of hostilities be- 
tween the Connecticut settler and the Pennamite. It occu- 
pied the site of the Pennamite stronghold known as Ogden's 
Fort, named in honor of Capt. Ogden, which had been cap- 
tured and burned in 1770. The position was a strong one: 
standing on the high bank of the river, protected on two sides 
by the river and the brook. It was designed to guard and 
control the mills upon that stream, as well as to furnish a safe 
retreat to the people of the neighborhood. The necessity 
of the times seems to have been pressing, for we are informed 
that the settlers in and about Wilkes-Barre moved into the 
fort the same year, taking their household goods and other 


personal effects along with them. Huts were erected along 
the inner walls of the fort which provided sufficient room for 
all who came. The community continued to occupy the fort 
as a dwelling place for a considerable period, and until the 
alarm, from whatever source it came, had subsided. This place 
was the scene of the first settlement by the Connecticut people, 
as well as of the tragedy of 1763. The improvements, con- 
sisting of a log house and a few small cabins, were erected 
here. Upon the return of the settlers in the year 1769, they 
made their way thither in hopes of finding a place of shelter 
and defence. The improvements, however, had fallen into the 
hands of the Pennamites who were secured in a strongly forti- 
fied block house, known as Ogden's Fort, and prepared to re- 
sist any steps looking to a settlement. This historic spot is 
now covered in part by a culm heap of the Lehigh Valley Coal 
company. The tracks of the Lehigh Valley railroad cross it 
in one direction, while a bridge of the Wilkes-Barre and East- 
ern spans it in another. The pumping station and mains of 
the Wilkes-Barre Water company and the mains of an oil 
pipe line complete the occupation. 

The Redoubt was the name given to a rocky spur that pro- 
jected at right angles across the river common from the main 
hill about ten rods above Union street. Its precipitous sides 
reached nearly to the edge of the river bank. Standing some 
seventy feet above the water it was a prominent land-mark, 
and an advantageous position in the local military operations. 
On the occasion of the siege of Fort Wyoming in 1771 a 
gun was mounted here by the Yankees; and though no execu- 
tion seems to have been done, the practice was doubtless of 
benefit. Again, in 1784, during the second Pennamite war, a 
like use was made of this eminence by the Connecticut people. 
They took possession of the Eedoubt, which lay between the 
fort and the grist mills on Mill creek that were also in the 
hands of the Pennamites, and thereby cut off the supplies of 
the fort; all the houses standing between the fort and the 
Redoubt w'ere burned so that there might be no obstruction 
to the fire directed upon the garrison. Other uses were doubt- 
less made of this strong position in time of need, though no 
account of them has been recorded. A tradition that there 


was a guard stationed there with a mounted gun to defend 
the passage of the river, the writer has been unable to verify; 
but it is so probable that there seems little doubt of its truth. 
It will be remembered that the river was the one highway 
north and south, and the Indians of the Six Nations made use 
of it on many occasions to reach the vicinity of Wyoming. 
After the year 1778, in most of their raids upon Wyoming and 
the settlements along the Blue Mountains, the savages were 
borne as far south as Wyoming upon the river floods. Any 
body of men occupying the Redoubt could effectually prevent 
the passage of this point by canoes, and compel the invading 
party to leave the river and made a wide detour in order to 
reach their destination. However well the Redoubt was 
situated for the uses mentioned, its location in respect to the 
march of modern improvements was quite unfortunate; it 
seems to have been planted directly in its path. The North 
Branch canal, by a sweeping turn at this point, sheared off 
two of the rocky faces of the barrier. The extension of River 
street cut a deep channel through it in another direction, sev- 
ering it from the main hill. The Lehigh Valley railroad, suc- 
cessor to the canal, to obtain room for its tracks, took off an- 
other portion ; and the city deported the remainder, bringing it 
to the level of the rest of the common and down to the city 
grade. The name, however, has always adhered to it, and al- 
though no vestige of the eminence remains, the "Redoubt" is a 
familiar name that still marks the spot. 

Nothing can be found showing that these several fortifica- 
tions were ever subject to attack in any warfare with the In- 
dians; though they undoubtedly fall within the sense of the 
designation "forts erected as a defence against the Indians, 
etc.'' In the years 1772 and 1773 a general feeling of alarm 
and apprehension pervaded the Wyoming settlement; the 
people lived in forts; they went about their daily work with 
arms in their hands; they strictly enforced the law in respect 
to military duty, and required guard mount in each township. 
This condition of affairs was probably owing to two causes. 
The isolated and exposed position of the settlement made it 
liable to attack and at the same time deprived it of the hope 
of assistance from any quarter. The warlike Six Nations 


were their neighbors on the north, and, although they pro- 
fessed to be friendly, the knowledge of their treacherous char- 
acter and the recollection of the massacre in 1763, the act of 
Indians claiming to be friendly, were still fresh in the minds 
of the settlers. Secondly, the likelihood of a renewal of the 
hostilities with the Proprietary government was nowise re- 
mote; the withdrawal of their men from the disputed terri- 
tory since August, 1771, held out no assurance of future inac- 
tivity. The settlers were liable to attacks from either source 
without warning, and they made the best disposition of the 
means at hand for their protection. At a meeting of the pro- 
prietors in November, 1772, it was ordered that every man who 
holds a settling right shall provide himself with a good firelock 
and ammunition according to the laws of Connecticut, "by the 
first Monday of December next, and then to appear complete in 
arms at ye fort, in Wilkes-Barre, at twelve o'clock on said day 
for drilling as ye law directs." It was further provided that 
each township shall elect a muster ofiicer and inspector and 
they shall choose two sergeants and a clerk. The inhabit- 
ants shall meet every fourteen days armed and equipped, and 
in case of alarms or appearance of an enemy, they shall stand 
for the defence of the town without further orders. In Octo- 
ber, 1772, it was ordered "that every man of the settlers shall 
do their duty both for guarding and scouting or lose their 
settling right." The requirement of keeping guard night and 
day in the fortified places applied to all the townships, under 
the penalty, in case of failure or neglect, of losing their set- 
tling rights; it was in force in 1772 and 1773, and probably 
longer. At this time also a stockade was built in Plymouth, 
the location of which is not now known, a block house was 
erected in Hanover, and the fort in Kingston, known as Forty- 
Fort was put in a state of repair. In addition to these nearly 
every dwelling house was loop-holed and made a place of de- 
fence. A community so well prepared and alert probably es- 
caped an open attack solely by reason of their readiness to 
repel it; and the forts that never sustained an assault owed 
their immunity to the same cause. 

The town of Westmoreland was established by Act of the 
Connecticut Legislature in 1774 ; it comprised the territory 


lying between the forty-first and forty-second degrees north 
latitude, the Delaware river and a line fifteen miles west of 
the Susquehanna river.* In 1776 the same authority erected 
the county of Westmoreland with boundaries coincident with 
the town of the same name. With the exception of a few 
small settlements on the Delaware river, Wyoming was the 
only inhabited portion of the town of Westmoreland. Wy- 
oming was the name of an Indian village, situated within the 
present limits of the city of Wilkes-Barre, and was inhabited 
at the time of the first attempt by the Connecticut people to 
effect a settlement of the place in 1762. This name was applied 
to the lands of the Susquehanna Company's purchase of 1754 ; 
and at a later period was used in a more restricted application 
and designated what were known as the settling townships 
and a few adjoining them. The settling townships were those 
assigned to the earliest settlers, and were named Wilkes- 
Barre, Hanover, Plymouth, Kingston and Pittston; these, 
together with Exeter and Newport townships, which were sur- 
veyed soon after the others, comprised all the land within 
the Wyoming Valley. The establishment of the town of West- 
moreland produced among the settlers a feeling of security, 
and a belief that the powerful aid and protection of the mother 
colony would now be extended to Wyoming. Much progress 
had already been made in the arduous work of establishing 
the settlements, notwithstanding the warfare that had been 
waged for nearly three years, and the season of alarms and 
anxiety that followed. This o£acial act gave a new impetus 
to the undertaking and added nerve and energy to the efforts 
of the workers upon the ground. In the few years that inter- 
vened between the time of their arrival and the battle of 
Wyoming in 1778, when the settlement was cut off, the Con- 
necticut settler had established in this distant wilderness a 
vigorous, orderly and prosperous colony. Townships were sur- 
veyed in accordance with uniform methods of a carefully 
ordered land office, and the lands allotted to those entitled to 
them. Highways were laid out and improved ; the land much 
of it a wilderness, was brought under a state of cultivation 
and productiveness; courts of justice were established and 

•Miner, page 15S. 



law and order prevailed; school houses were built in the 
several districts and free schools opened; provision was made 
for the preaching of the gospel, and for the support of the 
ministry and the schools three shares in each township were 
set aside, amounting to about one thousand acres of land. It 
must be admitted that this herein barely outlined undertaking 
was of vast proportions and beset by many difficulties, and its 
accomplishment in so brief a time and under such adverse cir- 
cumstances speaks highly of the character, resolution and 
perserverance of the people who wrought it out. The dispute 
between the colonies and the mother country had already 
reached open rupture, Lexington and Bunker Hill possessed a 
deeper signifiance for these people than for others. It aroused 
their patriotism and united them in the cause of the colonies; 
but it carried with it, morever, a menace that filled them with 
the most serious apprehensions. No one knew better than 
they the temper and disposition of the Six Nations on their 
northern border. A war with Great Britain meant an invasion 
of their homes by a savage enemy. The upper boundary of 
Westmoreland reached beyond the southern limit of the In- 
dian country, and included several of the Indians towns. 
Among these was Tioga Point, at the junction of the Tioga 
branch with the Susquehanna; it was an important place and 
served as a rendezvous for the savages by reason of its ac- 
cessibility from numerous towns and villages, and later be- 
came a base of attack upon Wyoming. Many of their paths 
and trails likewise lay v/ithin the boundaries of Westmore- 
land. They were near neighbors, therefore; and from their 
southernmost towns could readily reach the heart of Wy- 
oming during any rise in the river, within twenty-four hours, 
by simply floating in their canoes with the river's current. In 
case of attack their approach was likely to be silent and swift 
and under cover of the night. Furthermore, Wyoming was 
an outpost whose isloation was complete. The distance to the 
nearest settlement on the Delaware was seventy miles, and a 
wilderness traversed by a few trails only, intervened. Sun- 
bury was her nearest neighbor on the south, and was at an 
equal distance. In the face of these conditions the following 
quoted resolutions meant to these settlers something more 
than the simple expression of their adherence to the cause. 


"At a meeting of ye proprietors and settlers of ye town of 
Westmoreland, legally warned and held in Westmoreland, 
August 1st, 1775, Mr. John Jenkins was chosen Moderator 
for ye work of ye day. Voted that this town does now vote 
that they will strictly observe and follow ye rules and regula- 
tions of Ye Honorable Continental Congress, now sitting at 

"Kesolved by this town, that they are willing to make any 
accommodations with ye Pennsylvania party that shall con- 
duce to the best good of ye whole, not infringing on the prop- 
erty of any person, and come in common cause of Liberty in 
ye defence of America, and that we will amicably give them 
ye offer of joining in ye proposal as soon as may be." The 
meeting adjourned to August 8th, and then "Voted as this 
town has but of late been incorporated and invested with the 
privileges of the law, both civil and military, and now in a 
capacity of acting in conjunction with our neighboring towns 
within this and other colonies, in opposing ye late measures 
adopted by Parliament to enslave America. Also this town 
having taken into consideration the late plan adopted by Par- 
liament of enforcing their several oppressive and unconstitu- 
tional acts, of depriving us of our property, and of binding 
us in all cases without exception whether we consent or not^ 
is considered by us highly injurious to i^merican or English 
freedom; therefore do consent to and acquiesce in the late 
proceedings and advice of the Continental Congress, and do 
rejoice that those measures are adopted, and so universally re- 
ceived throughout the Continent; and in conformity to the 
Eleventh article of association, we do now appoint a Committee 
to atte^tively observe the conduct of all persons within this 
town, touching the rules and regulations prescribed by the 
Honorable Continental Congress, and will unanimously join 
our brethren in America in the common cause of defending 
our liberty." 

Many incidents in the following winter and spring con- 
firmed the fears of the settlers touching the disposition of the 
Six Nations toward them; the Indians living near the settle- 
ments became insolent in their behavior; some of them de- 
parted from the Valley and others, believed to be spies, took 


their places; hostile acts were committed by them in the 
neighborhood of Wyoming, the responsibility for which they 
not only denied, but on the other hand urged complaints 
against the settlers. The menace thus grew until its immi- 
ment character led the people to apply for aid to the colony of 
Connecticut, knowing themselves to tbe unable to withstand so 
powerful an enemy. Failing in their appeal to the mother 
colony, the circumstances of their case were laid before the 
Congress. In the meantime they took their condition under 
their own consideration at a town meeting, and adopted such 
measures as lay within their power to provide for the safety of 
the several settlements within the town of Westmoreland. 

The town meeting referred to was '^legally warned and held 
in Westmoreland, Wilkes-Barre district, August ye 24th, 1776. 
Col. Butler was chosen moderator for ye work of ye day. 

''Voted, it is the opinion of this meeting that it now becomes 
necessary for ye inhabitants of this town to erect suitable fort 
or forts, as a defence against our common enemy.'' 

"August 28th, 1776, this meeting is opened and held by ad- 

''Voted, ye three field officers of ye regiment of this town be 
appointed as a committee to view the most suitable places 
for building forts for ye defence of said town, and determine 
on some particular spot or place or places in each district for 
the purpose, and mark out the same." 

"Voted, that the above-said committee do recommend it to 
the people in each part as shall be set off by them to belong to 
any fort, to proceed forthwith in building said fort, etc., with- 
out either fee or reward from ye said town." 

The committee, under the powers given to it by the above 
vote, began its labors by a study of the needs of each town- 
ship; and the most advantageous sites for works of defence 
were carefully examined. In some of the townships there 
were stockades or fortified places, erected at the time of the 
early settlement a few years before, though since then suffered 
to fall into decay. These, wherever it was deemed to be prac- 
ticable, were ordered to be put in a good state of repair, and 
the best posture of defence of which the circumstances would 
admit. Forty-Fort in Kingston township, and Pittston Fort 


in the township of the same name, two of the most important 
locations, as events proved, were accordingly enlarged and 
strengthened. In other townships where there were no forts 
in such a state of repair as to be useful in the present emer- 
gency, suitable sites were chosen by the committee and the pro- 
posed works marked upon the ground. Sites were fixed upon 
in Wilkes-Barre, Plymouth and Exeter for the building of 
forts, and for blockhouses in lower Pittston and Hanover. 

The regiment, the three field officers of which were a com- 
mittee to locate the forts, was the Twenty-fourth regiment of 
Connecticut militia created soon after the establishment of 
the town of Westmoreland, nominally for the defence of the 
town. Inasmuch as the officers were residents, and the men 
enlisted from among the inhabitants of the place, and were 
required to arm and equip themselves, it cannot be claimed 
that this organization added much if anything, to the military 
strength of a community wherein every man had been accus- 
tomed to arm himself and do military duty whenever and as 
long as circumstances required. It was made up of nine com- 
panies; but it is doubtful if the number of men was equal 
to half the usual number of a company. The recruiting of 
other companies, especially the two Independent Companies, 
thereafter mentioned took from the ranks of the regiment a 
large number of its best men. It was six of the nine com- 
panies of this regiment, together with a few raw recruits, 
that fought the battle of Wyoming, and at that time the roster 
of these companies showed a strength of about two hundred 
and thirty men. The strength of the whole regiment was 
probably less than three hundred and fifty. In answer to 
the appeal for aid. Congress on the 23d August, 1776, "Ke- 
solved, that two companies on the Continental establishment, 
be raised in the town of Westmoreland, and stationed in 
proper places for the defence of the inhabitants of said town, 
and parts adjacent, till further orders of Congress; the com- 
missioned officers of said two companies, to be immediately 
appointed by Congress." 

"That the pay of the men, to be raised as aforesaid, com- 
mence when they are armed and mustered, and that they be 


liable to serve in any party of the United States, when ordered 
by Congress." 

The commissioned officers were duly appointed by Con- 
gress, and in less than sixty days the companies were re- 
cruited to the number of eighty-four men each. They were 
known as the ^^two Independent Companies of Westmoreland." 
The promise and expectation that these companies should be 
stationed in "proper places for the defence of the inhabitants" 
of Westmoreland were quickly defeated by the overwhelming 
necessity that confronted Congress. The battle of White 
Plains was fought October 25th, 1775, followed by the retreat 
of Washington; other disasters occurred in quick succession. 
Philadelphia was threatened by the enemy and December 12th, 
Congress resolved to adjourn to Baltimore. On the same day 
they ordered the two Independent Companies of Westmoreland 
"to join Gen. Washington with all possible expedition." The 
consequences of this action on the people of Wyoming are so 
obvious that they scarcely need recounting; the chief strength 
of the community was taken away ; the burdens of their situa- 
tion were more than doubled, and the dangers that surrounded 
them were increased. In the same degree that this action was 
disastrous to Wyoming, was it of advantage and encouragement 
to its enemies. It furnished new motives for an invasion and 
removed many of the difficulties surrounding such an under- 
taking. Congress was acquainted with the defenceless con- 
dition of Wyoming and the dangers that threatened her; and 
Avas well aware what evils were likely to befall the settlement 
in consequence of the removal of these troops. The motives 
that prompted this action on the part of Congress and her 
refusal to allow the companies to return even when the de- 
struction of Wyoming seemed certain, has been a subject of 
much speculation. It seems clear, however, that in the mind 
of Congress the probable cutting off of this frontier settlement 
was an affair of less consequence than the possible weakening 
of the army by detaching even two companies in the face of 
the enemy. It was a question of policy into which no senti- 
ments of justice and humanity seem to have entered. In con- 
nection with this subject it may be proper to refer to the num- 


ber of men supplied by Wyoming to tbe army. In the sum- 
mer of 1776 Captain Wisner enlisted twenty or more men for 
the Continental service, and about ten men were enlisted by a 
Captain Strong. Immediately afterward the one hundred and 
sixty-eight men of the ^^two Independent Companies of West- 
moreland'' were likewise mustered, as has been stated, making 
about two hundred men in the service. In Miner's History of 
Wyoming, page 206, the number of these troops is reckoned 
in 1777 — reduced by a year's hard service — at one hundred 
and sixty. The quota of Connecticut is there estimated at 
two thousand one hundred and fifty men; the quota of Wy- 
oming would have been twenty -one men. Allowing her only 
one hundred and sixty men in the service, she therefore sent 
to the war nearly eight times her just number. But as has 
been well said, in the situation that prevailed at Wyoming, 
'^every man might justly be regarded as on duty continually. 
Every man might have been considered as enlisted for and 
during the whole war. There was no peace, no security at 

Deprived of most of her able-bodied men in the manner above 
shown, the usual labors of the farm, sowing and harvesting 
necessary for the sustenance of the people, the guard mount 
day and night and the continuous duty of scouting called for 
the strenuous exertions of all; and the arduous undertaking 
of building the several forts, decided upon by the committee 
of the field officers of the regiment, could not be carried for- 
ward with the despatch the circumstances demanded. Still, 
such progress was made as the discharge of the many other 
duties permitted. Some of the forts were finished in the fol- 
lowing summer, 1777, others were suffered to wait for an- 
other year. All, however, were completed in time to serve 
the purposes of their erection; and before July, 1778, were 
ready for their garrisons. Some of the garrisons, as in Ply- 
mouth, Wilkes-Barre and perhaps other forts, were composed 
of the aged men, exempt by law from duty; others were of 
the militia of the Twenty-fourth regiment, as in Forty-Fort 
and Pittston. 

♦Memorial to Congress, Wyoming Sufferers, etc. Miner, App, 78. 



The site of this stronghold is in the borough of the same 
name on the southerly side of the line of the junction of 
River street with Fort street. Standing on the high western 
bank it was admirably situated to command the river at this 
point. It derived its name from the forty pioneers who, 
having been sent forward from Connecticut in 1769 by the 
Susquehanna Company to take possession of the land in its 
behalf, were rewarded for their services by a grant of the 
township of Kingston, and from this circumstance known like- 
wise as the township of the Forty, and the Forty town, within 
which the fort was located. The building of the fort was 
begun in the year 1770, and served as a place of security in 
time of danger and alarm; at a later period it seems to have 
been partly destroyed, or at least left in a condition not 
fitted for guarding as the law of the time required, for we 
learn that in 1772 and 1773 the Kingston men were ordered to 
mount guard in the fort at Wilkes-Barre until they shall build 
fortifications of their own.* In 1777, under direction of the 
committee it was partly rebuilt, adding much -to its strength, 
as well as its dimensions. Opinions differ as to its size, the 
better authority seems to be that it enclosed an acre or more 
of ground; indeed, recent excavations disclosed the remains 
of the timbers in place, extending in one direction two hun- 
dred and twenty feet, indicating in connection with other cir- 
cumstances an inclosure of at least an acre. The walls of 
this fort were of logs, the material generally used in such de- 
fences; these were set upright in a trench five feet in depth, 
extending twelve feet above the surface of the ground, and 
were sharpened at the tops. The joints or crevices between 
the upright logs were protected by another tier of logs planted 
and secured in like manner, thus forming a double wall. 
Barracks or huts were built along the walls within the fort 
for the shelter of the occupants; the roof of these buildings 
serving as a platform from which the garrison could defend 
the works; and the space in the centre, surrounded by the 
barracks, was used as a parade. The inclosure was rectangu- 

tThis site was marked by the Wyoming Valley Chapter, D. A. R., 19 Oct.. 1900. 
•Westmoreland Records. 



lar in shape, having a gateway opening towards the north, 
another towards the south, and small sentry towers at the 
four corners rising a few feet above the walls. A strong flow- 
ing spring at the margin of the river, below the structure, sup- 
plied water to the fort ; access to the spring was rendered safe 
by means of a sunken passageway, having the top protected 
by timber work, leading down from the fort. A water supply 
was always one of the controlling influences in the location of 
a work of this character. This was true in the case of the 
several forts in Wyoming; some contained within their walls 
running water, others had springs near at hand as in the 
present instance. 

During the last days of June, 1778, when it became known 
that the enemy in great force was approaching Wyoming, the 
inhabitants generally sought the protection afforded by the 
several forts. Probably the largest number gathered at Forty- 
Fort, owing to its larger dimensions and promise of greater 
security. The militia likewise mustered at this point, marching 
from their several stations when the alarm was given, having 
first detached a few of their number to add to the garrisons of 
the other forts. 

Meantime the enemy, numbering about eleven hundred men, 
under command of Major John Butler,* had descended the 
Susquehanna river in boats and landed a few miles above 
Wyoming. The enemy's force were made up of two hundred 
British Provincials, and a like number of Tories, and about 
seven hundred Indians, chiefly Senecas and Cayugas. From 
the point of landing they marched by a route at a distance 
from the river and reached their destination on the night of 
July 1st, and camped on the mountain near the head of the 
Valley, four miles north of Forty-Fort. After having gained 
some small successes in the capture of two stockaded forts, 
they sent a flag, July 2d, to Forty-Fort, demanding the sur- 
render of the several forts in the Valley together with all 
Continental stores. This demand was refused, and prepara- 
tions were made to attack the enemy. Every available man 
was assembled at the fort, and the chief command given by 
common consent to Col. Zebulon Butler, a Continental officer 

•Hist. Address, by Steuben Jenkins, Miner's Hist., Wyoming, p. 217. 


at home on furlough. The force gathered at Forty-Fort num- 
bered less than four hundred, made up of six companies of 
militia, the train bands, and old men and boys, ^'chiefly the 
undisciplined, the youthful, and the aged, spared by ineffi- 
ciency from the distant ranks of the Kepublic." Scouts re- 
ported the enemy driving off cattle, plundering in the vicinity 
and preparing to leave the Valley. Of the number of the 
enemy they could give no information; it was, however, be- 
lieved to be much smaller than in fact it was. These circum- 
stances perhaps percipitated the battle. Deceived both in the 
number and purpose of the enemy, our men marched on the 
afternoon of July 3, 1778, to engage them in battle. After a 
march of three miles they formed in line of battle, presenting 
a front of some five hundred yards; in this order they ad- 
vanced toward the enemy over ground covered with scrub- 
oaks and pitch pine, not high enough to obstruct the vision, 
but well adapted to form a cover for the Indians. The right 
of our line resting on a hill not far from the river was com- 
manded by Col. Butler supported by Major John Garrett; the 
left stretching toward a marsh to the northwest, was under 
command of Col. Denison and Lieut. Col. Dorrance. The 
enemy's left wing, composed of British Provincials, was com- 
manded by Major John Butler ; next to them, and forming the 
centre were the Tories under Captains Pawling and Hopkins, 
on the right were the Indians. The enemy's right rested upon 
a marsh, and behind the thick foliage of its undergrowth 
there lay concealed a large number of Indian warriors. At 
the word of command our men advanced and delivered a rapid 
fire with steadiness, which was returned by the enemy who 
slowly fell back before our advancing column. Advancing 
thus for the distance of a mile our line found themselves in a 
cleared space of several acres where, unprotected by any un- 
dergrowth, they were exposed to galling fire from the British 
who were shielded by a kind of breastwork formed in part 
by a log fence running across the upper part of the clearing. 
The advance was checked, and at this moment the horde of 
Indians rushed from the swamp and in overwhelming num- 
bers, with war whoop and brandishing of spears, fell upon 
our left, attacking it in flank and rear. Confusion ensued, or- 


ders were misunderstood or could not be executed. The left 
wing was forced back toward the right, the column was 
broken, and the day lost. Lieut. Col. Dorrance fell mortally 
wounded, Major John Garrett was killed; "every captain fell 
at his position in the line, and there the men lay like sheaves 
of wheat after the harvesters." In the flight from the field the 
men began moving off in squads firing at their pursuers, until 
decimated by fire and borne down by numbers, they fled as 
best they might. Some reached Forty-Fort, other fled to the 
river, and a few of these succeeded in crossing and reaching 
Wilkes-Barre. Those who were taken were either killed out- 
right or reserved for death by torture the following evening. 
Our loss is variously estimated at from one hundred and sixty 
to two hundred. Major John Butler, the commander of the 
enemy, says two hundred and twenty-seven scalps were taken. 
The loss of the enemy is unknown, but it is believed to have been 
from forty to eighty. Such was the battle of Wyoming, very 
briefly and imperfectly told. 

Col. Denison escaped from the field and assumed command 
at Forty-Fort. On the following day, the 4th of July, a 
second demand was made by the enemy for its surrender. 
There was no means at hand for further resistance, and the 
terms offered being looked upon as favorable as could be ex- 
pected under the circumstances, the fort was given up in ac- 
cordance with the following articles : 

Westmoreland, July 4, 1778. 

'^Capitulation made and completed between Major John 
Butler, on behalf of His Majesty King George the Third, and 
Col. Nathan Denison, of the United States of America. 

Art. 1. That the inhabitants of the settlement lay down 
their arms and the garrisons be demolished. 

2d. That the inhabitants are to occupy their farms peaceably 
and the lives of the inhabitants preserved entire and unhurt. 

3d. That the Continental stores be delivered up. 

4th. That Major Butler will use his utmost influence that 
the private property of the inhabitants shall be preserved en- 
tire to them. 

5th. That the prisoners in Forty-Fort be delivered up, and 


that Samuel Finch, now in Major Butler's possession, be de 
livered up also. 

6th. That the property taken from the people called Tories, 
up the river, be made good; and they to remain in peaceable 
possession of their farms, unmolested in a free trade, in and 
throughout this State, as far as lies in my power. 

7th. That the inhabitants, that Col. Denison now capitulates 
for, together with himself, do not take up arms during the 
present contest." 

These articles having been duly executed the fort was imme- 
diately surrendered. 

The victorious columns of the enemy were seen marching 
toward the fort. On the left were the British Provincials and 
Tories in columns of four, led by Major Butler; on the right 
were their painted savage allies, disposed in like order. With 
banners flying, to the music of the fife and drum, and with all 
the pomp and circumstance of war which so heterogeneous a 
mass could assume, they approached the fort. At a signal the 
gates were thrown open. Butler and his followers marched 
in by the north gate, while the Indians, led by their chiefs, 
entered by the south gate. All the arms of the fort, stacked 
in the centre of the parade, were given up to Major Butler who 
at once presented them to the savages, saying "they were a 
present from the Yankees," and then turning to Col. Denison, 
remarked, "That as Wyoming was a frontier, it was wrong 
for any part of the inhabitants to leave their own settlements 
and enter into the Continental army abroad; that such a 
number having done so, was the cause of the invasion, and 
that it would never have been attempted if the men had re- 
mained at home." Col. Franklin, who heard the declaration, 
added, "I was of the same opinion." 

The people had taken with them into the fort many of their 
household goods and personal belongings; these now became 
a prey to the cupidity of the savages, who, unrestrained by 
any authority, went about the fort robbing the inmates of 
whatever they possessed, even to the clothes they wore. From 
robbing the people in the fort they soon passed to the plunder 
and devastation of the whole valley, burning and destroying 
wherever they went. Many of the people living in Wilkes- 


Barre and the settlements below Fortj-Fort, had already be- 
gun their flight through the wilderness toward the Delaware 
and to Sunbury by the way of the river. The flight now be- 
came general and continued in terror and panic until nearly 
all had gone. A few remained in their cabins in the forts 
for a fortnight or more, detained by illness or by the lack of 
means of getting away. 

Notwithstanding the terms of the capitulation this fort was 
not demolished, and a few years afterwards was put in repair 
and garrisoned for a short time. 


Wintermoofs Fort was situated in Exeter township, be- 
tween Wyoming avenue, in the present borough of Sturmer- 
ville, and the Susquehanna, about eighty rods from the river. 
It consisted of a stockade surrounding a dwelling house, and 
was built prior to the time of holding the town meeting, Au- 
gust, 1776, by the Wintermoots, a numerous family who had 
lived in that neighborhood for some time. They had fallen 
under the suspicion of their neighbors by reason of various 
circumstances, which led to the belief that the family were 
Tories and in communication with the enemy. The building 
of the fort had not been sanctioned by any one in authority 
and this circumstance deepened the distrust with which they 
were looked upon; though no facts were at hand that might 
confirm the suspicions or serve as grounds to support charges 
against them. This state of affairs, however, was enough to 
put the inhabitants on their guard, and led to the action of the 
town meeting of August, 1776, which required that all forts 
should be located by the committee, in order that thereafter, 
no one who was under suspicion should be permitted to build 
a fort. The fort was under command of Lieut. Elisha Scovell ; 
and at the approach of the enemy it sheltered a few families 
of the neighborhood. At the command to surrender a feeble 
show of resistance was made, but all serious efforts of defence 
were opposed by the Wintermoots who said that Major But- 


ler, the commander of the enemy, would find a welcome there.* 
On the evening of July 1, the enemy encamped on the moun- 
tain nearly opposite this fort and within two miles of it. Par- 
ties of the enemy passed in and out of the fort during the 
night; the next morning the gates were thrown open and pos- 
session given up. It is probable that the enemy here learned 
the number and disposition of our forces ; our defensive works, 
locations and the quantity of plunder that would fall to the 
lot of his savage ally. This fort became the headquarters of 
Major Butler. The capitulation was made on the following 
terms : 

^Wintermoot's Fort, July 1, 1778. 

"Art. 1st. That Lieut. Elisha Scovell surrender the fort, 
with all the stores, arms and ammunition that are in said 
fort, as well public as private, to Major John Butler. 

2d. That the garrison shall not bear arms during the pres- 
ent contest, and Major Butler promises the men, women and 
children shall not be hurt, either by Indians or rangers." 

On the 3d of July at about the time our troops were form- 
ing their line of battle, the fort was set on fire and consumed. 
No motive has been assigned for the act; whether it was by 
design or accident is not known. It seems probable that Ma- 
jor Butler studied to have it appear that the Wintermoots 
were looked upon by him as belonging to our side; it might 
be of service to them in the future. This view would account 
for the unnecessary formality of articles of capitulation in the 
surrender of their fort and also for its destruction. The Win- 
termoots joined the enemy and in their company withdrew 
from the Valley a few days later,t and received the reward 
due them for their treachery. Col. Zebulon Butler, in his re- 
port of the battle refers to this fort in the following words: 
''In the meantime (July 1-3) the enemy had got possession of 
two forts, one of which we had reason to believe was designed 
for them, though they burnt both." All the authorities con- 
cur in the belief that the Wintermoots were in secret com- 
munication with the enemy, and that the fort was built with 

*Miner. 218. ' 

tStone's History. Wyoming, 201. 


the ultimate purpose of giving it up to them and to aid and 
abet their cause. 


This site was fixed by the committee before mentioned under 
resolution of the town meeting of August, 1776 ; and the build- 
ing was begun soon after that date. Being in the neighborhood 
of Wintermoot's Fort it was looked upon as a counter-check 
to that structure — and this may have been the reason it was 
so speedily finished. It was situated in Exeter township, 
within the present limits of the borough of West Pittston, 
about ten or twelve rods northeast of the Pittston Ferry bridge. 
Standing upon the top of the high bank, and overlooking the 
river, the place was subject to the encroachment of the current. 
Through the lapse of years a large part of the bluff has been 
washed away, and a considerable part of the site now the river's 

The structure was a stockade built around and in connection 
with the dwelling house of John Jenkins, hence its name. 
The stockade part was built in the usual manner by planting 
upright timbers in a trench of proper depth; these uprights 
were sharpened at the tops, and in this case, owing to their 
small size doubtless, *Vere fastened together by pins of wood 
and stiffened with two rows of timbers put on horizontally and 
pinned to the uprights inside, thus stiffening and uniting the 
whole into a substantial structure." Several families were 
gathered within this inclosure on the evening of July 1st for 
the protection it seemed to promise. Immediately after the 
surrender of Wintermoot's Fort a detachment of the enemy 
under command of Captain Caldwell of the Royal Greens was 
sent to reduce this place. The garrison consisted of but eight 
available men, and no effectual resistance being possible, sur- 
rendered the fort under the following terms: 

Fort Jenkins Fort, July 1, 1778. 
/'Between Major John Butler, on behalf of his Majesty King 
George the Third, and John Jenkins. 

♦This site was marked by the Dial Rock Chapter. D. A. R.. 12 Oct. 1900. 


"Art. 1st. That the fort with all the stores, arms and am- 
munition be delivered up immediately. 

2d. That Major John Butler shall preserve to them, intire, 
the lives of the men, women and children." 

Like Wintermoot's Fort, it was burned during the battle, 
two days later. 


Pittston Fort was situated in the township of the same 
name on the east bank of the Susquehanna river, now within 
the limits of the city of Pittston, between Main street and the 
river, on land occupied in part by the lumber yard and build- 
ings of J. E. Patterson & Co. It is nearly opposite the site of 
Jenkins' Fort. The original defensive works that occupied 
this space were built under the authority of the proprietors. 
At a meeting of the proprietors and settlers, held in Wilkes- 
Barre, May 20, 1772, it was vot